Table 2

Description of consecutive treatment modules and the number of participants completing each module

ModuleContentsNumber of participants*
1Psychoeducation: Introduction to the treatment and information about BDD such as prevalence, known aetiology and common symptoms. Different fictional patient characters are introduced and used as examples to help clarify the treatment components throughout the treatment. Participants begin to register BDD-related behaviours and thoughts in an online diary22 (96%)
2A cognitive–behavioural conceptualisation: Explanation of how self-defeating thoughts and BDD-related avoidance and safety behaviours maintain appearance concerns and fears. Participants learn how to conduct a functional analysis of how their own BDD symptoms are maintained21 (91%)
3Cognitive restructuring: A more in-depth rationale for how self-defeating thoughts and maladaptive thinking maintain BDD symptoms. Participants evaluate negative thoughts and engage in cognitive restructuring using online worksheets21 (91%)
4ERP: Explanation of exposure and different strategies for conducting response prevention is presented. Participants set treatment goals and conduct their first in vivo ERP exercise. ERP continues during the remainder of treatment, and participants continuously assess the outcome of ERP using an online worksheet19 (83%)
5More on ERP: Different aspects of ERP are highlighted and a more in-depth explanation is given on how to work with ERP over time14 (61%)
6Values-based behaviour change: Participants identify values-based long-term goals within the domains of relationships, career and leisure activities. An accepting stance towards negative thoughts and experiences is proposed as an alternative to attempts to control these experiences, while at the same time engaging in meaningful values-based activities13 (57%)
7Difficulties during treatment: Commonly encountered difficulties during treatment such as loss of motivation and problems in integrating exercises into the daily schedule are presented and discussed, as well as common obstacles associated with ERP and how to overcome them10 (44%)
8Relapse prevention: How to handle relapses into avoidance behaviours and repetitive behaviour. The participants also summarise the main lessons learnt, what has been gained through the treatment and their future plans6 (27%)
  • *Defined as doing the homework associated with each module.

  • BDD, body dysmorphic disorder; ERP, exposure and response prevention.