ORIGINAL PAPER
The indirect effect of body image on distress in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy
 
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1
School of Psychology, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
2
Institute of Social Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Submission date: 2021-05-26
Final revision date: 2022-01-22
Acceptance date: 2022-01-23
Online publication date: 2022-02-17
Publication date: 2022-02-17
 
Health Psychology Report 2022;10(1):47–57
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
body image; breast neoplasms; adaptation psychological; optimism; psychological distress

Participants and procedure:
This cross-sectional study included eighty-seven women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, who answered in-struments that assessed sociodemographic and clinical issues, optimism, coping, concerns with body image and psycholog-ical distress. Bayesian statistics were performed to test the indirect effect model that included also the moderator effects.

Results:
Lower optimism, lower use of humor, and higher denial and illness duration predicted lower body image and higher dis-tress. Longer illness duration was associated with higher distress. Body image had an indirect effect in the relationship between optimism and distress; between denial coping and distress; between humor coping and distress and between illness duration and distress. Being submitted to surgery but not the type of surgery was a moderator in the indirect effect model.

Conclusions:
Body image is critical to psychological distress. Future interventions for women with breast cancer should consider body image as a target, in order to promote adaptive coping strategies specially when women have had surgery.

 
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