Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 963–971 | Cite as

Body dysmorphic disorder, social anxiety and depressive symptoms in Chinese medical students

  • Yanhui Liao
  • Natalie P. KnoesenEmail author
  • Yunlong Deng
  • Jinsong Tang
  • David J. Castle
  • Riteesh Bookun
  • Wei Hao
  • Xiaogang Chen
  • Tieqiao LiuEmail author
Original Paper



This cross-sectional study explored the prevalence of body image dissatisfaction, body dysmorphic disorder, social anxiety and depressive symptoms in first-year medical students in China.


A self-report survey design was employed, using the Body Shape Questionnaire, Swansea Muscularity Attitudes Questionnaire, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, Dysmorphic Concern Questionnaire, Self-Rating Depression Scale and the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire. A total of 487 first-year medical students participated.


About one-third of participants (32.5%) indicated that they were very concerned about some aspect of their appearance unrelated to weight, with six female participants (1.3%) screening positive for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Those who displayed concern with their appearance (including those who did not screen positive for BDD) had higher levels of depressive and social anxiety symptoms than those who had no appearance concerns.


Body dysmorphic disorder Body image concern Social anxiety symptoms Depressive symptoms 



Funding for this study was provided by the Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant Nos. 60433020, and the National Key Basic Research and Development Program (973), Grant No. 2007CB512301.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanhui Liao
    • 1
  • Natalie P. Knoesen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yunlong Deng
    • 3
  • Jinsong Tang
    • 1
  • David J. Castle
    • 2
  • Riteesh Bookun
    • 2
  • Wei Hao
    • 1
  • Xiaogang Chen
    • 1
  • Tieqiao Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Mental Health Institute, Second Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.St Vincent’s Mental Health, Melbourne and the University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Third Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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