Biopsychosocial Markers of Body Image Concerns in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

Albert, Justine G., Lo, Christopher, Rosberger, Zeev, 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, Sultanem, Khalil, Shenouda, George, Cury, Fabio L., and Henry, Melissa (2022) Biopsychosocial Markers of Body Image Concerns in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Prospective Longitudinal Study. Current Oncology, 29 (7). pp. 4438-4454.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Background: Patients and survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC) are at a high risk of developing body image concerns. Despite the prevalence of body image concerns in patients with HNC, there is a lack of longitudinal research exploring the wide array of its associated determinants. The current longitudinal study examined the determinants and longitudinal course of body image dissatisfaction in patients with HNC.

Methods: Patients participated in Structured Clinical Interviews and self-administered questionnaires at four time-points: (T1) upon cancer diagnosis, (T2) at 3 months post-diagnosis, (T3) at 6 months post-diagnosis, and (T4) at 12 months post-diagnosis. They also underwent a disfigurement rating on an objective scale.

Results: Two hundred and twenty-four patients participated in our study. Fourteen percent to twenty-eight percent of patients reported at least moderate body image concerns across time points, with the lowest rates at baseline and the highest at 3 months (T1). It was found that patients more predisposed to developing higher levels of body image concerns presented physical markers (i.e., advanced cancer stage, lower physical functioning, higher disfigurement), psychosocial markers (i.e., higher depression, higher anxiety, and higher levels of coping with denial), and health disparities (i.e., younger age, female sex, French language, and marital status, with divorced and widowers most affected).

Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the multifaceted nature of body image concerns in patients with HNC and its biopsychosocial determinants. Clinicians should pay specific attention to these biopsychosocial markers in their clinics to predict high levels of body image concerns and tailor communication/refer for support accordingly.

Item ID: 75345
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1718-7729
Keywords: body image; cancer oncology; psycho-oncology; head and neck Cancer; longitudinal
Copyright Information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 05:24
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 582
Last 12 Months: 60
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page