Researchers at the Swinburne Mental Health Center have launched a survey to better understand the health experiences of people with body dysmorphic disorder in Australia.
The anonymous online survey is open until November 2021. It is aimed at Australians aged 18 and over living in Australia who have been diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder.
It will assess the respondent’s personal medical history with body dysmorphic disorder, their quality of life, and their experience with health services.
Barriers to seeking help
Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness which implies a distressing concern for a perceived defect in the physical appearance of the individual.
“Through our research on the disorder, we have observed a recurring theme: Australians with body dysmorphic disorder often do not receive a diagnosis or treatment for their symptoms. This often leads to chronic diseases, including high rates of disability and suicidal behavior, “explains the center’s lead researcher and postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Amy Malcolm.
“International studies have identified feelings of shame, a low perception of the need for treatment and the preference for cosmetic or surgical treatments as factors that act as barriers to the search for these people. mental health treatment, ”he adds.
In Australia, recent data confirm that there are significant barriers for patients accessing psychotherapy specializing in body dysmorphic disorders, including lack of affordability and geographical barriers.
“However, there are no Australian data on barriers related to broader care, such as those related to the management of the psychiatrist or GP, or the problematic replacement of mental health care by cosmetic interventions. “, explains Dr. Malcolm.
Filling in the gaps
Through the study, the research team hopes to identify existing gaps in the care experiences of these people.
“The information obtained from this survey will be essential to help us identify issues that negatively affect the diagnosis and treatment of body dysmorphic disorder in Australia. We plan to use this information to develop national clinical management guidelines for physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health service workers, which will help them better recognize body dysmorphic disorder and choose the right treatment, ”says Dr. Malcolm.
Besides, survey results it could also indicate the need to raise public awareness about body dysmorphic disorder to help people and their loved ones recognize the symptoms of the disorder and seek appropriate help.
Swinburne University of Technology
Citation: A new study explores healthcare experiences of people with body dysmorphic disorder (2021, May 25) recovered on May 25, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-explores-healthcare-people-body- dysmorphic.html
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