Online imagery rescripting among young women at risk of developing an eating disorder: A randomized controlled trial

Yuan Zhou, Jamie Lee Pennesi, Tracey D. Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study compared the effectiveness of two approaches to imagery rescripting (body versus general) among young women with an elevated risk of developing an eating disorder. Method: University students (N = 130 females) were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions: body or general imagery rescripting, psychoeducation, control. After initial brief laboratory training delivered online, participants in the imagery rescripting conditions were asked to practice imagery rescripting for 5 min each day for a week. Primary (global eating psychopathology, eating disorder behaviors, and body image acceptance) and secondary outcomes (self-compassion, fear of self-compassion, and dysfunctional attitudes) were measured at baseline and one-week follow up. Results: Completer analyses showed both imagery rescripting conditions and psychoeducation had significant impact on global eating psychopathology and body acceptance (d = 0.60–0.78). Psychoeducation did not impact secondary variables, whereas body imagery rescripting improved self-compassion and fear of self-compassion (d = 0.61–0.80) and general imagery rescripting improved dysfunctional attitudes (d = 0.82) compared to control. Intent to treat analyses had similar but slightly less robust results. Discussion: While three active groups had significant impact on the primary variables, imagery rescripting approaches had impact on other variables that maintain disordered eating. Future research should investigate the impact of combining psychoeducation and imagery rescripting in terms of impact on disordered eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1906-1917
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • body dissatisfaction
  • disordered eating
  • eating disorder
  • imagery rescripting
  • psychoeducation
  • self-compassion


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