Psychological aspects of additional procedures following breast reconstruction
Moody, Lesley Ann
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- © 2007 Lesley Ann Moody. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Aims: The main objective of this research was to compare psychological distress (anxiety and depression) and body image dissatisfaction (BID) between two groups of women: those who had undergone breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast cancer (BR) and those who had undergone breast reconstruction and additional procedures (BR-AP). Furthermore, the study aimed to explore the possible reasons why women might undergo additional procedures following breast reconstruction.
Method: A cross-sectional retrospective design was employed and data was collected at one time period only. Ninety seven patients were recruited (69.3% of the total patient cohort) who attended prearranged clinic appointments between August 2006 and February 2007 at a regional Breast Care Unit.
Results: The prevalence of anxiety and depression was higher in the BR-AP group compared to the BR group. This difference was not significant for anxiety, however it was approaching statistical significance for depression (p = 0.09). The BR-AP group had a significantly higher BID than the BR group (p = 0.045). There was some evidence that undergoing additional procedures predicted depression (p = 0.060) and BID (p = 0.045).
Conclusions: Undergoing additional procedures following breast reconstruction may not lead to a positive psychological outcome in terms of anxiety, depression and body image dissatisfaction. In view of the cost that undergoing these procedures presents to the NHS, coupled with the assumption that they offer psychological benefits, further research that prospectively examines psychological aspects of women seeking additional procedures is strongly recommended. Knowledge gained from such research is likely to assist in the pre-operative assessment of these women.
- Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
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