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Clin Psychol Rev. 2010 Dec;30(8):1040-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

Relationship between social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.

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Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are two separate, but conceptually overlapping nosological entities. In this review, we examine similarities between SAD and BDD in comorbidity, phenomenology, cognitive biases, treatment outcome, and cross-cultural aspects. Our review suggests that SAD and BDD are highly comorbid, show a similar age of onset, share a chronic trajectory, and show similar cognitive biases for interpreting ambiguous social information in a negative manner. Furthermore, research from treatment outcome studies have demonstrated that improvements in SAD were significantly correlated with improvements in BDD. Findings from cross-cultural research suggest that BDD may be conceived as a subtype of SAD in some Eastern cultures. Directions for future research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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