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Psychooncology. 2017 Jun;26(6):836-842. doi: 10.1002/pon.4238. Epub 2016 Sep 4.

The protective effect of a satisfying romantic relationship on women's body image after breast cancer: a longitudinal study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Senology Unit, University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the protective role of relationship satisfaction on body image in women with breast cancer throughout the first year post-surgery.

METHODS:

Seventy-four Swiss patients engaged in a relationship filled out a questionnaire assessing body image disturbance 2 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year after surgery. A univariate latent change score model was used to analyze the evolution of body image disturbance and the contribution of relationship satisfaction to body image disturbance.

RESULTS:

Women who were satisfied with their relationship reported less body image disturbance than did dissatisfied women at 2 weeks post-surgery. Being married was also associated with less body image disturbance at that time. The protective effect of these relational variables was still observable 1 year later. Changes in body image disturbance over time were explained by the negative impacts of mastectomy and chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

How women perceive the impact of breast cancer treatment on their body may be partly determined by the quality of the relational context in which they live.

KEYWORDS:

body image; breast cancer; longitudinal trajectories; marital status; oncology; relationship satisfaction

PMID:
27478976
DOI:
10.1002/pon.4238
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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