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A brief pilot self-compassion intervention for women with overweight/obesity and internalized weight bias: Feasibility, acceptability, and future directions (Pages 59-63)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 23, January 2022, Pages 59-63


Erin N. Haley, Christyn L. Dolbier, Robert A. Carels, Matthew C. Whited


Internalized weight bias (IWB) represents an important treatment target given strong associations with poor psychological and physical health. We examined the feasibility and potential impacts of a 3-session self-compassion intervention (SCI) for a sample of women with overweight/obesity and IWB (N = 15). Of this group, 66.7% completed 3/3 sessions (n = 10), 20% completed 2/3 sessions (n = 3), and there was a 13.3% (n = 2) attrition rate. All participants who completed the intervention and program evaluation form (n = 13) found the program beneficial and would recommend it to other women, supporting its acceptability. Secondarily, we explored short-term impacts of the SCI on self-compassion, IWB, and related variables, such as body image and eating behavior based on pre- and post-intervention surveys (complete-case analysis, n = 13). There were large effect sizes for intuitive eating (d = 1.02) and body appreciation (d = 0.80), medium effect sizes for uncontrolled eating (d = 0.49) and emotional eating (d = 0.46), a small effect size for self-compassion (d = 0.28), and no effects for IWB (d = 0.06) or body image shame (d = 0.09). Results suggest that brief self-compassion training may be feasible and potentially beneficial for this population and warrants additional intervention development and testing with rigorous study designs. Improvements to future intervention studies will be discussed given current findings.

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