Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Cecile A. Lengacher, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Kevin E. Kip, Ph.D., F.A.H.A.
Cindy S. Tofthagen, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., A.O.C.N.P., F.A.A.N.P.
Kristine A. Donovan, Ph.D., M.B.A.
MBSR, sexuality, survivorship
Younger breast cancer survivors often report problems related to sexuality following surgical and adjuvant treatment that often lead to sexual distress and body image distress. This research was conducted as an exploratory study within a larger R01 trial with the purpose to evaluate sexual distress and body image related-distress in younger women with breast cancer and to examine the extent to which the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction-Breast Cancer (MBSR(BC)) was efficacious in improving distress related to sexuality, i.e. sexual distress and body image related-distress. The aims of this study were to: 1) evaluate the efficacy of the MBSR(BC) program in improving the psychological symptoms of sexual distress and body image related distress; and 2) evaluate whether positive effects achieved from the MBSR(BC) program are modified by specific patient characteristics measured at baseline.
Ninety-one participants were randomized to either the MBSR(BC) intervention or Usual Care (UC) and assessments were conducted at baseline, 6-week and 12-week follow-up for sexual distress, body image related distress, demographic data as well as clinical history. For aim 1, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and linear mixed model (LMM) analysis were the methods used to evaluate the efficacy of the MBSR(BC) program. For aim 2, ANCOVA and stepwise multiple linear regression were used to evaluate the patient characteristics at baseline that modified the effects achieved from the MBSR(BC) program.
Results showed the mean age of the sample was 57 years and 74% were White, non-Hispanic. Chi square analyses found that there were no significant differences between the MBSR(BC) and UC groups on baseline demographic or clinical characteristics. For Aim 1, results of the ANCOVA analyses found that there was no significant difference between the MBSR(BC) and UC groups at the 6-week follow-up on sexual distress or body image related distress (both p > .05). However, ANCOVA analyses found that there was a significant relationship between baseline scores and scores at the 6-week follow-up for both sexual distress (p < .0001) and body image related distress (p < .0001). Further ANCOVA analyses for Aim 1 found that there was a trend towards a statistical significance for the difference between the MBSR(BC) group and UC groups at the 12-week follow-up for both sexual distress (p = .09) and body image related distress (p = .06). Results of the Linear Mixed Model (LMM) analyses, implemented to assess sexual distress over time, showed a significant main effect (ME) of time (p < .000) and a trend towards significance for the time by assignment interaction (p = .104). The LMM analyses for body image disturbance resulted in a significant ME of (p < .000) and an interaction that approached significance (p = .071). For aim 2, ANCOVA results found that age at baseline was a significant predictor of change at 6 weeks in levels of body image related distress (p = .007), but no relationship was observed for sexual distress. Further, analysis using a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis found age at baseline to be the only significant predictor of both baseline sexual distress (p = .004) and baseline body image related distress (p = .008).
Although the MBSR(BC) program was not tailored for integrating sexuality content, results of this stress reducing program (MBSR(BC)) program, adapted for breast cancer survivors, appeared to benefit these young women. The findings of this study identify that there is a need for stress reducing interventions addressing problems related to sexual distress and body image related distress. In addition, these results identified that clinically, BCS should be assessed for sexual distress and body image disturbance post-treatment, and interventions to assist with this distress should be incorporated into their plan of care.
Scholar Commons Citation
Paterson, Carly Lynn, "Sexual Functioning and Body Image in Younger Breast Cancer Survivors" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.