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Body experience in patients with mental disorders

PhD ceremony:W.J. Scheffers
When:May 30, 2018
Start:11:00
Supervisor:prof. dr. R.A. (Robert) Schoevers
Co-supervisors:dr. J.T. van Busschbach, dr. M.A.J. (Marijtje) van Duijn
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Body experience in patients with mental disorders

Body experience in patients with mental disorders

Although negative or disturbed body experience has been reported in a broad range of psychiatric disorders, sound measurement of body experience in clinical groups is scarce. Measuring body experience is important for diagnostics as well as for the evaluation of body- and movement-oriented interventions. Three core psychological dimensions of body experience are described: body attitude, referring to cognitive, affective, and behavioural aspects; body satisfaction, defined as the degree of contentment with appearance or functionality of the body ; and body awareness, defined as the perception of bodily states and processes. In addition to providing substantial empirical evidence for disturbed body attitude as a common problem in patients with mental disorders, the studies reported in this thesis have achieved the following goals: - A new instrument, the Dresdner Body Image Questionnaire, Dutch version (DBIQ-NL), was presented to measure body attitude. Body attitude is an important dimension of body experience, and one for which no adequate Dutch measurement scale has so far become available. - Differences were established in the disturbance of dimensions of body experience in different groups of patients (somatoform disorder, trauma-related disorders, and depression) compared to healthy people.- Differences were demonstrated in body attitude between these different groups of patients Our findings indicate that addressing body experience may be a way to influence psychopathology in patients with mental disorders. Patients will benefit from reducing emphasis on cognition and verbalization in favour of a more balanced treatment approach that includes attention for subjective bodily experiences and that offers body- and movement-oriented interventions.