My changed body: Breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion

Astrid Przezdziecki, Kerry A. Sherman, Andrew Baillie, Alan Taylor, Elizabeth Foley, Kellie Stalgis-Bilinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background Bodily changes after breast cancer treatment can lead to long-term distress. Self-compassion, the ability to be kind to oneself, is an internal resource that may enhance a woman's ability to adjust to cancer-related bodily changes. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that self-compassion mediates the relationship between body image and distress, controlling for alternate plausible mediators. Methods Members of a nationwide breast cancer consumer network were invited to participate. A total of 279 women who had finished active cancer treatment completed the online survey. Assessments included the Body Image Scale; Self-compassion Scale; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and items measuring perceived normative pressure and comfort with one's weight. Possible mediating effects of proposed variables on the body image-distress relationship were assessed. Results Tests using a bootstrapping approach with multiple mediators were significant for self-compassion on distress. Body image disturbance was indirectly associated with distress through low self-compassion. Conclusions Body image disturbance and lower self-compassion were associated with increased psychological distress among these breast cancer survivors. This study provides preliminary evidence for a mediating role of self-compassion between body image disturbance and psychological distress, suggesting a potentially protective effect of higher levels of self-compassion for women at risk of experiencing body image disturbance.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1872-1879
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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Body Image
Breast Neoplasms
Aptitude
Psychology
Survivors
Neoplasms
Anxiety
Depression
Pressure
Weights and Measures
Therapeutics

Cite this

Przezdziecki, Astrid ; Sherman, Kerry A. ; Baillie, Andrew ; Taylor, Alan ; Foley, Elizabeth ; Stalgis-Bilinski, Kellie. / My changed body : Breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion. In: Psycho-Oncology. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 8. pp. 1872-1879.
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abstract = "Background Bodily changes after breast cancer treatment can lead to long-term distress. Self-compassion, the ability to be kind to oneself, is an internal resource that may enhance a woman's ability to adjust to cancer-related bodily changes. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that self-compassion mediates the relationship between body image and distress, controlling for alternate plausible mediators. Methods Members of a nationwide breast cancer consumer network were invited to participate. A total of 279 women who had finished active cancer treatment completed the online survey. Assessments included the Body Image Scale; Self-compassion Scale; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and items measuring perceived normative pressure and comfort with one's weight. Possible mediating effects of proposed variables on the body image-distress relationship were assessed. Results Tests using a bootstrapping approach with multiple mediators were significant for self-compassion on distress. Body image disturbance was indirectly associated with distress through low self-compassion. Conclusions Body image disturbance and lower self-compassion were associated with increased psychological distress among these breast cancer survivors. This study provides preliminary evidence for a mediating role of self-compassion between body image disturbance and psychological distress, suggesting a potentially protective effect of higher levels of self-compassion for women at risk of experiencing body image disturbance.",
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Przezdziecki, A, Sherman, KA, Baillie, A, Taylor, A, Foley, E & Stalgis-Bilinski, K 2013, 'My changed body: Breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion', Psycho-Oncology, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1872-1879. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3230

My changed body : Breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion. / Przezdziecki, Astrid; Sherman, Kerry A.; Baillie, Andrew; Taylor, Alan; Foley, Elizabeth; Stalgis-Bilinski, Kellie.

In: Psycho-Oncology, Vol. 22, No. 8, 08.2013, p. 1872-1879.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Baillie, Andrew

AU - Taylor, Alan

AU - Foley, Elizabeth

AU - Stalgis-Bilinski, Kellie

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N2 - Background Bodily changes after breast cancer treatment can lead to long-term distress. Self-compassion, the ability to be kind to oneself, is an internal resource that may enhance a woman's ability to adjust to cancer-related bodily changes. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that self-compassion mediates the relationship between body image and distress, controlling for alternate plausible mediators. Methods Members of a nationwide breast cancer consumer network were invited to participate. A total of 279 women who had finished active cancer treatment completed the online survey. Assessments included the Body Image Scale; Self-compassion Scale; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and items measuring perceived normative pressure and comfort with one's weight. Possible mediating effects of proposed variables on the body image-distress relationship were assessed. Results Tests using a bootstrapping approach with multiple mediators were significant for self-compassion on distress. Body image disturbance was indirectly associated with distress through low self-compassion. Conclusions Body image disturbance and lower self-compassion were associated with increased psychological distress among these breast cancer survivors. This study provides preliminary evidence for a mediating role of self-compassion between body image disturbance and psychological distress, suggesting a potentially protective effect of higher levels of self-compassion for women at risk of experiencing body image disturbance.

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