Body experience in patients with mental disorders

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    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.
    Translated title of the contributionLichaamsbeleving bij mensen met psychiatrische problematiek
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Schoevers, Robert, Supervisor
    • van Busschbach, Jooske T., Co-supervisor
    • van Duijn, Marijtje, Co-supervisor
    • van der Woude, Lucas, Assessment committee
    • van Hooren, S.A.H., Assessment committee, External person
    Award date30-May-2018
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-0517-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0516-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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