The literature comparing the effects of breast reconstructive surgery, breast-conserving surgery, and mastectomy on body image and mental health yields conflicting results. Objectified body consciousness may be a factor that influences the psychological well-being of breast cancer survivors. Women with average time of 19 months from breast cancer surgery were approached in outpatient clinics to participate in our study. Using structural equation modeling, we tested and verified a model that included self-reported objectified body consciousness, cancer-related body image discomfort, and depression among 193 breast cancer survivors in Taiwan. Our results provided support for the hypothesized indirect relation of objectified body consciousness with depression through the mediating role of cancer-related body image discomfort. Specifically, women with higher objectified body consciousness levels reported more cancer-related body image discomfort, which in turn was related to greater depression. Additionally, the degree of this mediation relationship across surgery types was different. These findings are significant to clinicians who should be cognizant of the potential role of objectified body consciousness in promoting cancer-related body image discomfort and depression in breast cancer survivors. Encouraging women to clarify their perceptions of their new bodies and providing care combined with psychological counseling after breast cancer surgery are critical.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)