Objective: The aim of this research was to examine the effectiveness of the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for body image flexibility and body awareness in these patients.
Methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted at Kashan University of Medical Sciences clinics in Kashan, Iran, from December 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018. A sample of 75 patients with psychosomatic disorders was selected by convenience sampling. The selected patients were randomly divided into three 25-member groups. The experimental group received medicinal treatment combined with the (ACT). The active control group received the usual treatment plus psycho education in general psychology, and the treatment group solely received the medicinal treatment usually used in the treatment centers. The results were obtained using the following scales in the pretest and posttest phases and the two-month follow-up: the demographic questionnaire; Shields’ body awareness questionnaire; and Sandoz’s body image flexibility questionnaire. The data were analyzed using the descriptive statistics tests (mean and standard deviation) and the repeated measures analysis of variance and chi-square tests in IBM-SPSS version 21.
Results: There was no significant difference among the three groups in terms of body image flexibility, body awareness, somatic symptoms, and demographic variables. The results of the posttest and follow-up examinations suggested that the ACT group more effectively and significantly improved body image flexibility and body awareness as compared to both of the control groups (p=0.02). 
Conclusions: The ACT successfully improves body image flexibility and body awareness in patients with psychosomatic disorders.
Clinical trial registration: This research was registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://www.irct.ir) with the IRCT ID: IRCT2017092532057N2.
Funding: Research and Technology Department of Kashan University of Medical Sciences funded the study (Ref: 96053).


Keywords: Acceptance and commitment therapy, Body image flexibility, Body awareness, psychosomatic disorders


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July-September 2019 (Volume 11, Issue 3)


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