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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 50 (2008) 9, 559 - 565

New research

Prevalence and comorbidity of body dysmorphic disorder in psychiatric outpatients

D.J. Vinkers, Y.R. van Rood, N.J.A. van der Wee

background Body dysmorphic disorder (bdd) is a somatoform disorder, characterized by a patient's preoccupation with the belief that some aspect of his/her physical appearance is abnormal. The prevalence of bdd in the general population is 0.7 - 1.7%. The prevalence of bdd in patients attending a Dutch general outpatient clinic has never been examined.
aim Examine the prevalence of bdd in patients attending a Dutch general outpatient clinic.
method All patients aged 18 to 65 who were referred between September 2003 and July 2007 to six general outpatients clinics for treatment of a depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, or a somatoform disorder were assessed with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (mini). Patients with bdd were also assessed by means of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder - Yale- Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (bdd-ybocs).
results bdd was diagnosed in 45 out of 5848 patients (0.8% (0.6-1.0%)).The average age of these patients was 31.1. years and 69% were female. A comorbid depressive disorder was present in 35 patients (78%) and a comorbid anxiety disorder in 26 patients (58%). Of the anxiety disorders, social phobia was the most common, with a prevalence of 27%. The average score on the bdd-ybocs was 22.5 points. The bdd-ybocs score was significantly higher in patients with a comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder (35.7 points; p = 0.01).
conclusion The prevalence of bdd in psychiatric outpatients who were referred for treatment of a depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, or a somatoform disorder was 0.8%. There was a high comorbidity of bdd with depressive and anxiety disorders.

keywords body dysmorphic disorder, comorbidity, somatoform disorder