The moderating effect of perceived partner empathy on body image and depression among breast cancer survivors

Su Ying Fang, Hong Tai Chang, Bih Ching Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose The aims of the study were the following: (1) to understand the relationship between women's perceptions of empathy from their partners and their depressive symptoms and body image and (2) to examine the moderating effects of women's perceptions of empathy from their partners on the relationship between body image and depressive symptoms. Methods A cross-sectional and correlational design was used, in which a convenience sample of 151 women who completed surgery and the necessary chemotherapy/radiotherapy were recruited from southern Taiwan. A structured questionnaire including the Other Dyadic Perspective-Taking Scale, the Body Image Scale, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale were administered. Hierarchical regression was used to examine the moderating effects of empathy from partners between the women's body image and their level of depressive symptoms. Results The results showed significant relationships between empathy from a partner and depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). However, there was no significant relationship between empathy from a partner and body image (p > 0.05). The moderating effect of empathy from a partner on the relationship between body image and depressive symptoms was also significant (p < 0.01). Conclusion The more empathy women perceived from partners, the fewer depressive symptoms women reported. Empathy from a partner could moderate the impact of body image changes on depressive symptoms. Women's depressive symptoms, resulting from a change in body image after breast cancer surgery, might be minimized if they perceived greater empathy from their partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1822
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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