Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Management, Dehaghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Dehaghan, Iran

2 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculity of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran,


BACKGROUND: Cancer and its treatments have been shown to have a negative psychological
effect on many cancer patients. One of these effects is often described as body image disturbance.
Due to the limited number of studies in this area, this study was performed to assess body image in
cancer patients and its association with clinical variables.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a descriptive and correlational research that was designed
in Sayyed‑Al‑Shohda Hospital affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 2013. Two
hundred and ten adult patients who had been suffering from cancer were selected and completed
the personal/demographic/illness questionnaire and the multi‑dimensional body‑self relations
questionnaire that contained 64‑items with appearance orientation, appearance evaluation, fitness
evaluation, fitness orientation, health evaluation, health orientation, illness orientation, body areas
satisfaction, self‑classified weight and overweight preoccupation sub‑scales. Data were analyzed
by ANOVA and Pearson correlation with a significance level of P < 0.05.
RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation (scores of body image in cancer patients was 184.40 (43.68)
indicating that 58.3% of them had negative body image. In addition, most of patients had negative health
evaluation (60.2%), negative appearance evaluation(63%), negative illness orientation(61%), and negative
fitness orientation(56%). Furthermore, there were no significant correlations between type of cancer (P=0.5,
f = 0.3), kind of treatment (P = 0.8, f = 5.2) and duration of illness with body image (P = 0.6, r = −0.2).
CONCLUSION: In this study most of the cancer patients had body image disturbances. Also, body image in
this group wasn’t associated with the type of cancer, kind of treatment and duration of illness. Totally, these
results underscore the importance of assessing and treating body image disturbance in cancer patients.


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