Hoop training: a pilot study assessing the effectiveness of a multisensory approach to treatment of body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa

Eat Weight Disord. 2019 Oct;24(5):953-958. doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-0585-z. Epub 2018 Oct 4.


Purpose: We tested in a pilot study a new intervention for body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa (AN). Unlike common treatment approaches our hoop training targeted not only cognitive-emotional and visual aspects of body image, but also tactile and body-scaled action components.

Methods: We assessed cognitive, visual, tactile and body-scaled action aspects of body image disturbance before and after completion of hoop training. Twelve AN patients completed treatment as usual (TAU) for body image, 14 completed hoop training in addition to TAU.

Results: Results show that patients who completed the 8-week individual hoop training in addition to TAU improved more on body image disturbance tasks from baseline to follow-up than patients who completed only TAU. Hoop training specifically seems to affect tactile body image and body-scaled action.

Conclusions: Taken together, a treatment approach in which the full spectrum of body image disturbances in AN is targeted has a unique added effect over treatment as usual.

Level of evidence: Level II, non-randomized controlled study.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Body image disturbance; Eating disorders; Multisensory; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / therapy*
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult