Send to

Choose Destination
J Surg Oncol. 2013 Dec;108(8):526-30. doi: 10.1002/jso.23437. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

The influence of dispositional optimism on decision regret to undergo major breast reconstructive surgery.

Author information

Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Breast Restoration Program, University Health Network, Toronto; Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto.



It is not known if optimism influences regret following major reconstructive breast surgery. We examined the relationship between dispositional optimism, major complications and decision regret in patients undergoing microsurgical breast reconstruction.


A consecutive series of 290 patients were surveyed. Independent variables were: (1) dispositional optimism and (2) major complications. The primary outcome was Decision Regret. A multivariate regression analysis determined the relationship between the independent variables, confounders and decision regret.


Of the 181 respondents, 63% reported no regret after breast reconstruction, 26% had mild regret, and 11% moderate to severe regret. Major complications did not have a significant effect on decision regret, and the impact of dispositional optimism was not significant in Caucasian women. There was a significant effect in non-Caucasian women with less optimism who had significantly higher levels of mild regret 1.36 (CI 1.02-1.97) and moderate to severe regret 1.64 (CI 1.0-93.87).


This is the first paper to identify a subgroup of non-Caucasian patients with low dispositional optimism who may be at risk for developing regret after microsurgical breast reconstruction. Possible strategies to ameliorate regret may involve addressing cultural and language barriers, setting realistic expectations, and providing more support during the pre-operative decision-making phase.


autologous abdominal tissue; decision-making; ethnicity; outcomes; psychosocial; reconstructive microsurgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center