An intervention protocol proposal to modify the body image disturbance using Virtual Reality

Sara Fonseca-Baeza, Giulia Corno, Rosa María Baños


A negative experience with one’s own body has been theorized as a common antecedent of eating disorders (EDs). In fact, body image disturbance (BID) is considered a key factor in the development, maintenance and relapse of Anorexia Nervosa (AN). As yet, the mechanisms underlying this disturbance in body representation remain unclear. In this paper we present the study protocol of this novel Virtual Reality (VR) multisensorial paradigm to assess and treat BID. Participants will be asked to perform a real and virtual body size estimation task. Then, they will be assigned to one condition (experimental vs, control), and they will have to perform a task from 1st or 3rd point-of-view, in a counterbalanced manner. The “experimental” condition task consists of touching the real abdomen while looking at the virtual one. The “control” condition task consisted of making slow movements meanwhile looking at the virtual abdomen. Thereafter, participants will perform again the real and virtual body size estimation tasks. After ten minutes, they will perform the procedure from the other point-of-view (1st vs. 3rd). This protocol is intended to be an effective tool that allows the development of a more realistic corporal representation adjusted to the own body size.

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ISSN: 1850-6216