The purpose of this study was to analyze the available evidence concerning the effects of breast reconstruction (BR) on body image of women with breast cancer. BR is a potential intervention to improve the body image of women with breast cancer. Conflicting research findings about the effects of breast reconstructive surgery on body image compared to breast conservative surgery (BCS) or mastectomy exist. A meta-analysis of studies found in MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, PubMed as well as PQDT (dissertation and theses), and other unpublished literature resources from 1970 to 2010 were searched. Comparable studies that examined the difference of body image between breast cancer women receiving mastectomy plus BR and those with BCS were included. A clear definition about the domains of body image including body stigma, body concern, and transparency were identified. Mean effect sizes were calculated. Twelve studies were included in the meta-analysis. Women with BR and BCS were no different on the body concern domain of body image. However, women with BR had a significantly worse score on body stigma domain of body image than women receiving BCS. Women with BR had a better body image score than women with mastectomy. Women who are satisfied with their body shape may still perceive deficiencies because of the stigma of mastectomy and affect on body image. Consistent application of valid and reliable measures of body image specific to breast cancer women is needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research