Restoring Body Image After Cancer (ReBIC)

This randomised controlled trial aimed to test a group psychosocial intervention focused on improving disturbances of body image, sexual functioning and quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors. Of 194 breast cancer survivors who expressed concerns about negative body image and/or difficulties with sexual functioning, 131 received the intervention and 63 were assigned to the control. The participants were followed for one year. The manual-based intervention contained two components: guided-imagery exercise integrated within a model of group-therapy and education on the social and cultural factors affecting women’s self-esteem and body image. The intervention explored identity, development of new self-schemas and personal growth. Results showed that women in the intervention group reported significantly less concern/distress about body appearance, decreased body stigma and a lower level of breast cancer related concerns compared with the control group. However there was no statistically significant difference between the groups in sexual functioning. The intervention demonstrated significant improvements in quality of life in women post breast cancer and the manual-based intervention should be considered for use in primary care settings.

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