Body Image Perceptions in Men With Prostate Cancer

Joanne M. Harrington

Elaine G. Jones

Terry A. Badger

self-care, prostate cancer
ONF 2009, 36(2), 167-172. DOI: 10.1188/09.ONF.167-172

Purpose/Objectives: To describe changes in body image among men with prostate cancer who were either prescribed androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) or were ADT naive and to explore the relationship of age, duration of therapy, and body mass index with body image perception.

Design: Exploratory and descriptive.

Setting: Ambulatory care clinic of a large urban Veterans Affairs medical center.

Sample: 132 men 60 years of age or older with prostate cancer recruited from the oncology and urology outpatient departments.

Methods: Participants completed a demographic survey and the Body Image Scale (BIS), an instrument developed to measure changes in body image. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to explore body image dissatisfaction.

Main Research Variables: Body image and ADT.

Findings: A significant difference in body image dissatisfaction existed between men who had received ADT and men who were ADT naive. No relationship was identified between age and body image dissatisfaction or between duration of therapy and body image dissatisfaction. A significant positive relationship was found between body mass index and body image dissatisfaction for the sample overall.

Conclusions: A greater degree of body image dissatisfaction existed in the men who received ADT as compared to those who were ADT naive.

Implications for Nursing: Patients receiving ADT for prostate cancer may be at greater risk of body image dissatisfaction. The psychometric performance of the BIS lends support to its continued use in this population.

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