Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 55–67 | Cite as

Postmastectomy attitudes in women who wear external breast prostheses compared to those who have undergone breast reconstructions

  • Linda L. Reaby
  • Linda K. Hort
Article

Abstract

Sixty-four women who postmastectomy wore an external breast prosthesis and 31 women who had breast reconstruction participated in the present study. It was hypothesized that the breast prosthesis group would exhibit more negative attitudes towards their mastectomy experience compared to the breast reconstruction group. Using the Mastectomy Attitude Scale (MAS) the results indicated that both groups were satisfied with their bodies, had a positive outlook towards their lives, implied that sexuality entailed more than having breasts, and felt that mastectomy treatment was necessary to save their lives. Neither group concealed that they had a mastectomy, however, they were not prone to discuss their mastectomy experiences. The findings from the study indicate that the women postmastectomy already had or developed positive attitudes towards themselves and life in general and the method chosen for breast restoration had no apparent impact on these attitudes. Reasons for the sample's positive attitudes are discussed.

Key words

mastectomy attitudes external breast prosthesis breast reconstruction 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda L. Reaby
    • 1
  • Linda K. Hort
    • 2
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.School of Applied PsychologyUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia

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