Regret associated with the decision for breast reconstruction

the association of negative body image, distress and surgery characteristics with decision regret

Joanne Sheehan*, Kerry A. Sherman, Thomas Lam, John Boyages

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigated the influence of psychosocial and surgical factors on decision regret among 123 women diagnosed with breast cancer who had undergone immediate (58%) or delayed (42%) breast reconstruction following mastectomy. The majority of participants (52.8%, n = 65) experienced no decision regret, 27.6% experienced mild regret and 19.5% moderate to strong regret. Bivariate analyses indicated that decision regret was associated with negative body image and psychological distress - intrusion and avoidance. There were no differences in decision regret either with respect to methods or timing patterns of reconstructive surgery. Multinominal logistic regression analysis showed that, when controlling for mood state and time since last reconstructive procedure, increases in negative body image were associated with increased likelihood of experiencing decision regret. These findings highlight the need for optimal input from surgeons and therapists in order to promote realistic expectations regarding the outcome of breast reconstruction and to reduce the likelihood of women experiencing decision regret.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-219
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychology and Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


    • breast reconstruction
    • decision making
    • decision regret
    • negative body image
    • intrusion and avoidance

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