ORIGINAL PAPER
Loss of attributes of femininity, anxiety and value crisis. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome compared to women after mastectomy and in menopause
 
 
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Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Submission date: 2015-01-04
Final revision date: 2015-02-24
Acceptance date: 2015-02-25
Online publication date: 2016-01-20
Publication date: 2016-01-20
 
Health Psychology Report 2016;4(2):159–169
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively widespread disease and a main cause of fertility problems. The disease diagnosis is frequently related to changes in the value hierarchy. However, it can be treated as a “loss of/threat to” femininity. Similar aspects of the loss of part of femininity are connected with menopause and mastectomy.

Participants and procedure
One hundred and forty-five women were examined in total: 42 with the PCOS diagnosis, 20 after mastectomy, 42 in menopause and 41 healthy women (reference group). Standard measurement methods were used: the Value Crisis Questionnaire by P. Oleś and the IPAT Anxiety Scale – Self Analysis Form by R. B. Cattell.

Results
Women suffering from PCOS obtained significantly higher indexes of both crisis and anxiety compared to other groups, whereas women after mastectomy and in menopause did not differ between one another in tested variables, and they did not differ from healthy women either. It was noted that the most relationships between variables were observed in the group of women in menopause (significant correlations between almost all dimensions), while there are few relationships in women after mastectomy. In women with PCOS (a relatively small number of correlations) relationships of the greatest strength relate to the relationships of negative self-esteem and guilt proneness with all dimensions of the value crisis.

Conclusions
Polycystic ovary syndrome, despite having a relatively non-threatening course, is experienced much more strongly by women compared to mastectomy and menopause. It is associated with strong internal anxiety and degradation of the value hierarchy.
 
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