EDRS 2019
Christina Ralph-Nearman1, Armen C. Arevian2, Maria Puhl1, Alexandra Weindel1,3, Scott E. Moseman4, Jamie D. Feusner2, Sahib S. Khalsa1,3
1Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, OK, United States/2Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States/3University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, United States/4Laureate Eating Disorders Program, Tulsa, OK, United States

Introduction: Body image is a subjective construct usually assessed via questionnaire and currently lacking objective behavioral markers. We created Somatomap 2D, a novel assessment using a visual mapping interface to capture body image concerns. This study examined the feasibility of Somatomap 2D to measure body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa (AN).   Methods: AN inpatients (n=25) and non-clinical comparisons (NC; n=25) sequentially outlined individual body concerns on an avatar and rated the associated concern intensity and affective valence. Regional differences in body image disturbance were evaluated via statistical body maps using proportional z-scores.    Results: A higher proportion in the AN group had concerns about the chest, lower abdomen, and legs (p<.05). AN exhibited greater body concerns, higher concern intensities, and more negative emotional valence compared to NC (p<.001). The number of body concerns explained a large proportion of the variability in eating disorder severity (EDE-Q), controlling for age and BMI (R2=.30, p=.009, 95% CI [0.07, 0.43]).    Conclusions: Somatomap 2D demonstrated feasibility in identifying body image disturbances in inpatients with AN, showing regional differences in body concerns. Moreover, the number of concerns predicted eating disorder severity, suggesting that it might serve as an objective behavioral marker for AN. We are currently examining the utility of this measure in longitudinally tracking recovery following treatment.