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A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Body Image Dissatisfaction and Weight Self-Stigma in Adults

Griffiths, Catrin; Williamson, Heidi; Zucchelli, Fabio; Paraskeva, Nicole; Moss, Tim

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Abstract

© 2018, The Author(s). Body image dissatisfaction (BID) and weight self-stigma are prevalent and associated with physical and psychological ill-health. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is increasingly employed for both, yet little is known about its effectiveness. Searches of 12 databases identified six studies using online, face-to-face or self-help ACT interventions for BID or weight self-stigma, of varying duration and intensity. Their effectiveness and quality were evaluated. Two reported improved BID, three improved weight self-stigma, and one reported no impact on weight self-stigma. Methodological issues (small sample sizes, lack of allocation concealment, attention control and long-term follow up) impacted the validity of findings. Due to the small number of studies and poor study quality, the effectiveness of ACT for BID and weight self-stigma remains unclear. Nonetheless findings suggest psychological flexibility may facilitate reduction in BID and weight self-stigma and indicate that brief online as well as lengthy face-to-face delivery may be useful. Suggestions for further research are made.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Journal Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Print ISSN 0022-0116
Electronic ISSN 1573-3564
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 4
Pages 189-204
APA6 Citation Griffiths, C., Williamson, H., Zucchelli, F., Paraskeva, N., & Moss, T. (2018). A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Body Image Dissatisfaction and Weight Self-Stigma in Adults. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 48(4), 189-204. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-018-9384-0
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-018-9384-0
Keywords Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT, body image, weight self-stigma, adults
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-018-9384-0
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-018-9384-0

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