The authors administered a questionnaire to 41 women who had had mastectomies to investigate aspects of the procedure itself, pre- and postmastectomy adjustment, effects on sexual relationships, and the influence of age. Although most women reported good overall adjustment, there were strong indications of psychological suffering (suicidal ideation, increased use of alcohol and tranquilizers, etc.). Psychological intervention may be called for in many cases, and age, support systems, and premorbid functioning may be indicators of the amount and type of intervention needed. Counselling is particularly important before surgery, since this was viewed as the period of maximum stress by most women. Further research with larger, more random samples and postsurgical control groups is indicated to determine more precisely the factors related to adjustment to mastectomy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health