Body image concerns in patients with head and neck cancer: a longitudinal study

Henry, Melissa, Alberta, Justine G., Frenkiel, Saul, Hier, Michael, Zeitouni, Anthony, Kost, Karen, Mlynarek, Alex, Black, Martin, MacDonald, Christina, Richardson, Keith, Mascarella, Marco, Morand, Gregoire B., Chartier, Gabrielle, Sadeghi, Nader, Lo, Christopher, and Rosberger, Zeev (2022) Body image concerns in patients with head and neck cancer: a longitudinal study. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. 816587.

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Objective: Head and neck cancer (HNC) treatments are known to significantly affect functionality and appearance, leading to an increased risk for body image disturbances. Yet, few longitudinal studies exist to examine body image in these patients. Based on a conceptual model, the current study aimed to determine, in patients newly diagnosed with HNC: (1) the prevalence, level, and course of body image concerns; (2) correlates of upon cancer diagnosis (pre-treatment) body image concerns; (3) predictors of immediate post-treatment body image concerns; and (4) association between body image concerns and levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, support (i.e., satisfaction with support from physician, social/family wellbeing, and unmet support needs), and alcohol and drug misuse.

Methods: Two hundred and twenty-three (participation rate = 72%), newly diagnosed with a primary HNCwereassessedusing structured clinical interviews and psychometric measures at three, and 6 months after diagnosis. Primary outcome was 3-month, as it was most salient to body image disturbance. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted on the potential body image predictors, based on the model.

Results: Sixty-eight percent of patients with HNC (n = 148 of 218) presented some level of body image concerns. Body image concerns at baseline (i.e., upon cancer diagnosis, pre-treatment) and post-treatment were significantly related and significantly increased from pre- to post-treatment. Immediately post-treatment (i.e., at 3 month follow-up), 89% (n = 132 of 148) presented some level of body image concerns. Correlates of body image concerns in patients with HNC at baseline included: physical symptom burden, difficulties with communication and eating, coping with the cancer diagnosis using denial, suicidal ideation, and having had a past anxiety diagnosis. When controlling for sociodemographic and medical variables, body image concerns in patients with HNCin the immediate post-treatment were predicted by: baseline body image, physical symptom burden, and neuroticism.

Item ID: 73205
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
Keywords: body image, cancer, oncology, psycho-oncology, head and neck cancer
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Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 Henry, Albert, Frenkiel, Hier, Zeitouni, Kost, Mlynarek, Black, MacDonald, Richardson, Mascarella, Morand, Chartier, Sadeghi, Lo and Rosberger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2022 00:23
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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