My changed body

breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion

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

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Adjustment to bodily changes after breast cancer treatment can lead
to long term distress. Self-compassion, the ability to be kind to one self, is
an internal resource that may enhance a woman’s ability to adjust to cancerrelated
bodily changes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the
association of body image disturbance, self-compassion and psychological
distress among breast cancer survivors.
Method: Members of a nationwide breast cancer consumer network were
invited to participate. A total of 279 women who had completed active
cancer treatment completed the online survey. Assessments included the
Body Image Scale (BIS), Self Compassion Scale (SCS) and the Depression,
Anxiety and Stress scales (DASS). Possible mediating effects of self-compassion
on the body image-distress relationship were assessed.
Results: Clinical levels of depression (28%), anxiety (20%) and stress
(17%) were evident in a subset of women sampled. Pearson’s correlations
indicated a positive association between body image disturbance and distress,
and negative associations between self-compassion and body image
disturbance and self compassion and distress. Self-compassion was found
to partially mediate the association between body image and depression and
body image and anxiety, and to fully mediate the body image-stress
Conclusions: Body image disturbance and lower self-compassion were associated
with increased psychological distress among these breast cancer survivors.
This study found preliminary evidence for a mediating role of
self-compassion, between body image disturbance and psychological distress,
suggesting a potential buffering effect of higher levels of self compassion
for women at risk of experiencing body image disturbance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Pages (from-to)248-249
Number of pages2
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue numberS3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
EventJoint Meeting of the COSA 39 Annual Scientific Meeting and IPOS 14 World Congress of Psycho–Oncology - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 13 Nov 201215 Nov 2012

Cite this

Przezdziecki, A., Sherman, K., Baillie, A., Taylor, A., Foley, E., & Stalgis-Bilinski, K. L. (2012). My changed body: breast cancer, body image, distress and self-compassion. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 8(S3), 248-249. [489].