Penile Dysmorphic Disorder: Development of a Screening Scale
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Penile dysmorphic disorder (PDD) is shorthand for men diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, in whom the size or shape of the penis is their main, if not their exclusive, preoccupation causing significant shame or handicap. There are no specific measures for identifying men with PDD compared to men who are anxious about the size of their penis but do not have PDD. Such a measure might be helpful for treatment planning, reducing unrealistic expectations, and measuring outcome after any psychological or physical intervention. Our aim was, therefore, to validate a specific measure, termed the Cosmetic Procedure Screening Scale for PDD (COPS-P). Eighty-one male participants were divided into three groups: a PDD group (n = 21), a small penis anxiety group (n = 37), and a control group (n = 23). All participants completed the COPS-P as well as standardized measures of depression, anxiety, social phobia, body image, quality of life, and erectile function. Penis size was also measured. The final COPS-P was based on nine items. The scale had good internal reliability and significant convergent validity with measures of related constructs. It discriminated between the PDD group, the small penis anxiety group, and the control group. This is the first study to develop a scale able to discriminate between those with PDD and men anxious about their size who did not have PDD. Clinicians and researchers may use the scale as part of an assessment for men presenting with anxiety about penis size and as an audit or outcome measure after any intervention for this population.
KeywordsBody dysmorphic disorder Penis size Small penis syndrome Penile dysmorphic disorder
David Veale would like to acknowledge support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
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