Testing the efficacy of the Virtual Body Project in a sample of Turkish female university students using a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Ergut N., Keser E.

Klinik Psikoloji Dergisi, vol.6, no.3, pp.380-391, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Name: Klinik Psikoloji Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.380-391
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


The current study aimed to test the efficacy of the Virtual Body Project (vBP) on self-esteem, eating disorder symptoms, the positive effect of body image on life quality, and psychological symptoms, using a randomized, placebo-controlled pretest-posttest experimental design. Turkish female university students between the ages of 18-25, who were not diagnosed with eating disorders and who had body dissatisfaction participated in the study. The intervention (vBP, N = 77) and placebo (Expressive Writing, N = 70) groups were determined using coin flipping for each participant method. The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDEQ), Body Image Quality of Life (BIQLI), and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) were administered to both groups in the pretest and posttest assessments. Forty participants in the intervention group and 33 participants in the placebo group completed the study. Four mixed-design ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate the effect of the intervention on dependent variables. Besides, the analyses were repeated using an intention-to-treat analysis with multiple imputation methods. Analyses showed that while the EDE-Q and BSI scores significantly decreased, the BIQLI and RSES scores significantly increased in the vBP group. On the other hand, there was no significant difference across time in the EW group. In conclusion, the present study supported that the Virtual Body Project had an effect on eating disorder symptoms, the positive influence of body image on quality of life, psychological symptoms, and self-esteem in female university students. It is thought that the Virtual Body Project can be considered a useful protocol for preventive mental health studies carried out with female university students in Turkey.