The beauty treatments studied as interventions included manicures, pedicures, make-up sessions, depilation, hairdressing, and massages. Researchers studied the effect of beauty treatments on depression.
Quintard, B., & Lakdja, F. (2008). Assessing the effect of beauty treatments on psychological distress, body image, and coping: A longitudinal study of patients undergoing surgical procedures for breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 17, 1032–1038. doi:10.1002/pon.1321
Research Evidence Summaries
Quintard, B., & Lakdja, F. (2008). Assessing the effect of beauty treatments on psychological distress, body image, and coping: A longitudinal study of patients undergoing surgical procedures for breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 17, 1032–1038.doi:10.1002/pon.1321
To evaluate, postsurgically, the impact of beauty treatments, in combination with routine cancer care, on body image, psychological distress, and coping in patients with breast cancer
Intervention Characteristics/Basic Study Process:
Intervention beauty treatments occurred at the hospital during the first week postsurgery. Intervention treatments included manicures, pedicures, makeup, depilation, hairdressing, and massages. The control group received routine medical care. Data collection occurred at baseline (the day before surgery), at six days postsurgery (Time 1), and at three months postsurgery (Time 2).
- The sample was composed of 100 participants; 50 were in the intervention group and 50 were in the control group.
- In the experimental group, 56.7% of participants were between 40 and 60 years old. In the control group, 62.8% of participants were older than 60.
- All participants were female.
- All patients had undergone mastectomy or tumorectomy.
- Single site
Phase of Care and Clinical Applications:
Randomized prospective controlled trial
- French version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), to measure psychological distress.
- Body-Image Questionnaire (BIQ), to measure satisfaction with body image.
- French version of the Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) Scale, to measure coping style. The instrument consists of five subscales: fighting spirit, helplessness and hopelessness, anxious preoccupation, avoidance, and denial.
Depression scores measured by HADS increased significantly over time in both groups (p < 0.001). Anxiety scores measured by HADS decreased significantly over time in both groups (p < 0.001). Investigators noted no significant intergroup difference or interaction effect for both depression and anxiety. Three months after surgery, the intervention group reported higher body-image scores. Patients' perception of helplessness and hopelessness increased over time in the control group but not in the intervention group (p < 0.05).
Overall, this study did not find that beauty treatment had an effect on psychological distress and coping styles.
- The study had a small sample size, with fewer than 100 participants.
- Investigators did not give enough attention to the control group.
- Investigators did not describe randomization procedures. Whether groups were treated sequentially or concurrently is unclear.
- The report presented no justification for the choice of data-collection time points. Patients might have had beauty treatments on their own.
- Investigators did not evaluate the impact that other cancer treatments (chemotherapy or radiation treatment) or other potentially confounding variables may have had on study outcomes.
Cost-effectiveness needs to be examined, particularly given the fact that the investigation yielded no significant findings.