Disturbed Body Image

Definition: Confusion in mental picture of one’s physical self


  • Biophysical illness; trauma or injury; surgery; [mutilation, pregnancy]; illness treatment [change caused by biochemical agents (drugs), dependence on machine]
  • Psychosocial
  • Cultural or spiritual
  • Cognitive/perceptual; developmental changes
  • [Significance of body part or functioning with regard to age, sex, developmental level, or basic human needs]
  • Maturational changes


  • Verbalization of feelings/perceptions that reflect an altered view of one’s body in appearance,structure, or function; change in lifestyle
  • Fear of rejection or of reaction by others
  • Focus on past strength, function, or appearance
  • ..other on the book


  • Missing body part
  • Actual change in structure and/or function
  • Nonverbal response to actual or perceived change in structure and/or function; behaviors of avoidance, monitoring, or acknowledgment of one’s body
  • Not looking at/not touching body part
  • Trauma to nonfunctioning part
  • other on the book...

SAMPLE CLINICAL APPLICATIONS: eating disorders (anorexia/bulimia nervosa), traumatic injuries, amputation, ostomies, aging process, arthritis, pregnancy, chronic renal failure/ dialysis, burns


  • Sample NOC linkages:
  • Body Image: Positive perception of own appearance and body functions
  • Self-Esteem: Personal judgment of self-worth
  • Distorted Thought Control: Self-restraint of  disruption in perception, thought processes,and thought content

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