Effects of alopecia on body image and quality of life of Turkish cancer women with or without headscarf

Faculty of Health Sciences, Trakya University, Aysekadin Kampus, Edirne, Turkey.
Supportive Care in Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.36). 12/2011; 20(10):2349-56. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-011-1338-y
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to find out the effects of chemotherapy-related alopecia on body image and quality of life of Turkish women who have cancer with or without headscarves and factors affecting them.
This descriptive study was conducted with 204 women who received chemotherapy at the Istanbul University Institute of Oncology, Turkey. The Patient Description Form, Body Image Scale and Nightingale Symptom Assessment Scale were used in data collection. Statistical analyses were performed using descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests. Logistic regression analysis was done to predict the factors affecting body image and quality of life of the patients.
No difference was found between women wearing headscarves and those who did not in respect of their body image. However, women who wore headscarves who had no alopecia felt less dissatisfied with their scars, and women not wearing headscarves who had no alopecia have been feeling less self-conscious, less dissatisfied with their appearance. There was difference in terms of quality of life: women wearing headscarves had worse physical, psychological and general well-being than others.
Although there were many important factors, multivariate analysis showed that for body image, having alopecia and wearing headscarves; and for quality of life, having alopecia were the variables that had considerable effects.

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    • "Body image changes were quantified using four numeric responses; namely " not at all " , 0; " a little " , 1; " quite a bit " , 2; " very much " , 3. The scores for the ten items were then summed to produce an overall score for each patient, ranging from 0 to 30, with zero scores representing no symptoms or distress and higher scores representing increasing symptoms or distress or more body-image concerns (Hopwood et al., 2001). Cronbach's a coefficient of the scale was previously reported as 0.89, and correlation coefficients were between 0.59 and 0.72 (Erol et al., 2011). "
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