Prevalence of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) among the Lebanese University students: Associated risk factors and repercussion on mental health


Body Dysmorphic Disoreder
Mental Helath
Lebanese University students


Background: Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychological illness characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in appearance. For individuals with BDD, these perceived defects are significant and prominent, leading to emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and impairment in daily functioning. Despite its impact, no prior studies have explored the prevalence of BDD among Lebanese university students. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of BDD and investigate its association with mental health status (depression and anxiety), religiosity, eating disorder risk, and self-esteem among Lebanese University students.  Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2020, involving students from the Lebanese University. Data were collected using the dysmorphic concern questionnaire (DCQ), Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSE), religiosity scale, patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety disorder assessment (GAD-7), Eating Attitude test-26 scale (EAT-26). Results: A total of 6448 participants were enrolled in our study. The overall prevalence of BDD among university students was (6.4%).Our results showed that Lebanese students with BDD were more likely to have anxiety ORadj 1.3 (95% CI:1.2-1.7) p-value 0.001, depression ORadj 1.2 (95% C:1.15-1.5) p-value 0.007, and eating disorder (Bulimia & Food preoccupation ORadj 1.06 (95% CI:1.03-1.2) P-value 0.0, and oral control ORadj 1.09 (95% CI:1.05-1.1)  P-value < 0.001) compared to those with no BDD. We also found that students with BDD had Lower Self-esteem ORadj 0.88 (95%CI: 0.78-0.9) P-value <0.001), and less likely to be religious ORadj 0.88 (95%CI: 0.82-0.9) P-value 0.02) compared to those with no BDD. Conclusion: This pioneering study in Lebanon sheds light on the prevalence of BDD among Lebanese university students and its associated factors. BDD was found to be significantly linked to elevated levels of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, along with lower levels of self-esteem and religiosity. These findings underscore the importance of early detection of BDD during adolescence and young adulthood, necessitating timely psychological intervention to prevent chronicity and complications. Moreover, promoting widespread awareness through various social media and public platforms is essential to address this psychological issue effectively.


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