Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 198-204

A comparative study of coping skills and body image: Mastectomized vs. lumpectomized patients with breast carcinoma

1 Department of Psychiatry, Padmashree Dr D.Y. Patil Medical College and Rajawadi Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Seth G.S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Fiona Mahapatro
1101, Gloriosa Apartments, N.M. Kale Marg, Agar Bazar, Dadar, Mumbai, 400028
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.43051

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Background: The diagnosis of breast cancer encompasses not only physical, but also social and psychological implications because of the importance of the breast in a woman's body image, sexuality and motherhood. Women may experience a range of concerns and fears including physical appearance and disfigurement, the uncertainty about recurrence and the fear of death. There are no Indian studies on this subject. Aim: This study explores the various concerns of mastectomized and lumpectomized (breast conserved) patients, determines the coping mechanisms employed and the resolution of concerns. The levels of anxiety and depression in both groups were also studied. Methods: Seventy-five patients with breast carcinoma (50 mastectomized and 25 lumpectomized) were evaluated. The concern and coping checklist of Devlen was used. The severity of anxiety and depression was measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results: Body image or disfigurement was a concern only in the mastectomized group. Concerns were equally resolved between the two groups except for sexual role and performance, wherein the concern was resolved to a lesser extent in the mastectomized group. Coping strategies employed were effective in the resolution of concerns except for sexual role and performance, and recurrence or relapse. No statistically significant difference was found in the depression and anxiety levels of the two groups. Conclusion: Concern regarding sexual role and performance was resolved to a lesser extent in the mastectomized group. Specific psychological intervention is necessary to enhance coping strategies with regard to concerns of body image, and sexual role and performance.



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