Systematic review of body image measures

Body Image. 2019 Sep:30:170-211. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2019.06.006. Epub 2019 Aug 6.


This systematic review synthesizes and critically appraises measurement properties of influential body image measures. Eight measures that met the definition of an assessment of body image (i.e., an individual's cognitive or affective evaluation of their body or appearance with a positive or negative valence), and scored high on systematic expert priority ranking, were included. These measures were: the Body Appreciation Scale (original BAS and BAS-2), the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults, the Body Shape Questionnaire, the Centre for Appearance Research Valence Scale, the Drive for Muscularity Scale, two subscales of the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire, one subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory 3, and two subscales of the Multidimensional Body Relations Questionnaire. Articles assessing these scales' psychometric properties (N = 136) were evaluated for their methodological quality using the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist, and a best evidence synthesis was performed. The results supported the majority of measures in terms of reliability and validity; however, suitability varied across populations, and some measurement properties were insufficiently evaluated. The measures are discussed in detail, including recommendations for their future use in research and clinical practice.

Keywords: Body image; Clinical practice; Measurement properties; Psychometric; Self-report questionnaire; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*