Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Women’s initial experiences of their appearance after mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction: A qualitative study

Herring, Beth; Paraskeva, Nicole; Tollow, Philippa; Harcourt, Diana

Women’s initial experiences of their appearance after mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction:  A qualitative study Thumbnail


Authors

Beth Herring

Profile Image

Dr Pippa Howard Pippa.Tollow@uwe.ac.uk
Research Fellow in Burns PROMS Research



Abstract

Objective: Surgical procedures intended to treat breast cancer or reduce risk of developing the disease typically result in changes to appearance and scarring of the breast area, and any donor sites. The longer-term impact of these changes on body image and quality of life are well documented, but research in this field has failed to explore women’s initial experiences of their appearance after surgery. This study used a qualitative approach to gain insight and better understand the experiences of women at this time point in their treatment pathway.

Methods: Women (n=128) who had undergone mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction following a diagnosis of breast cancer or to reduce their risk of developing the disease completed an online survey. Open-ended questions asked participants about their experiences when seeing the post-surgical appearance of their breast/breast area (and donor site, if relevant) for the first time, and the support available to them.

Results: Thematic Analysis generated four key themes: ‘preparedness and support’, ‘first thoughts and emotions’, ‘loss and grief’ and ‘the reaction of others’.

Conclusions: There was considerable variability in women’s experiences. Some felt prepared and emotionally supported at this time, whilst others felt this element of care was missing. The findings suggest there is a need to ensure all women are informed and have the necessary support when looking at the results of their surgery for the first time. Areas for improvement were proposed, including pre-operative discussions, increased preparation and support. This could potentially contribute to better patient outcomes overall.

Citation

Herring, B., Paraskeva, N., Tollow, P., & Harcourt, D. (2019). Women’s initial experiences of their appearance after mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction: A qualitative study. Psycho-Oncology, 28(10), 2076-2082. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5196

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 25, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 6, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 7, 2020
Journal Psycho-Oncology
Print ISSN 1057-9249
Electronic ISSN 1099-1611
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 10
Pages 2076-2082
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5196
Keywords appearance, breast cancer, breast reconstruction, cancer, mastectomy, oncology, qualitative, scar, surgery
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/1492448
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10991611

Files

Women's initial experiences - v1 clean.docx (54 Kb)
Document

Licence
http://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved

Copyright Statement
This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5196. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


Women's initial experiences - v1 clean.pdf (427 Kb)
PDF

Licence
http://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved

Copyright Statement
This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5196. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.







You might also like



Downloadable Citations