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Presse Med. 2012 Jan;41(1):e22-35. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2011.05.021. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

[Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Faculté de médecine de l'université de Bordeaux, 33000 Bordeaux, France.



Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) has replaced the old and ill-defined concept of dysmorphophobia since its introduction as a full-blown disorder in DSM-III-R in 1987. Since then, the body of knowledge on BDD has considerably increased. At the same time, cosmetic medicine and surgical procedures, for which the indications and outcomes of BDD should be taken into account, have become common. Hence, we decided to undertake a review of the literature on BDD aimed at French speaking practitioners.


We searched Medline for the literature on BDD and dysmorphophobia in English and in French and made a critical examination of findings resulting from those studies where the methodology was sound.


BDD is frequent in the general population with a point prevalence between 1.7 and 2.4% and often severe. Delusive and non-delusive forms of BDD likely belong to the same entity and both respond to the same treatment. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapies have demonstrated their efficacy in randomized controlled studies. Esthetic, medical and surgical treatments, which are very often sought after by BDD patients, have been shown to be ineffective and potentially harmful.


Our review confirms the progress in knowledge on BDD. The most interesting results concern clinical characteristics, epidemiology in the general population, and treatment. The prevalence of BDD in the general population should prompt every practitioner to take this disorder into account when faced with the increasing demand for medical and surgical cosmetic procedures. Nevertheless, further research is needed, particularly on the demand of non psychiatric treatments by BDD patients and the way medical or surgical specialists manage it.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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