Restoring Body Image after Breast Cancer through Exercise and Art Sculpture “RISE UP” after Breast Cancer: A Pilot Multi-Methods Study

  • Author / Creator
    Effa, Corrie Joelle
  • The purpose of this thesis was to explore and describe body image in survivors of breast cancer in the context of supportive care, with specific focus on resistance exercise training and art therapy. The overall purpose of this work was to inform current practice and offer an alternative approach to addressing body image in breast cancer survivors.

    Manuscript 1. Scoping Review The first study (Chapter 2) is a scoping review on resistance exercise training and art therapy alone, and in combination as interventions to address body image in breast cancer survivors. This study revealed preliminary evidence of the benefits of resistance exercise and art therapy as single interventions to improve body image perception among breast cancer survivors.

    Manuscript 2. Cognitive Interview Study. The second study (Chapter 3) is a qualitative study exploring the construct validity of the Body Image Scale in women with breast cancer using cognitive interview methods. Twelve breast cancer survivors participated in a cognitive interview while completing the Body Image Scale questionnaire. This study revealed several issues with construct validity, likely because the tool has remained unchanged despite the emerging field of body image. The findings of this study provide insight and suggestions on potential areas of questionnaire revision to improve the validity and relevance of the BIS for use with BCS.

    Manuscript 3. Feasibility Study The final study (Chapter 4) presents a pilot feasibility study combining resistance exercise training with art sculpting to assess positive body image in breast cancer survivors. Participants were asked to attend a biweekly, 12-week, group resistance exercise program and a weekly, eight-week art sculpting class. The primary objectives of feasibility were assessed through the collection of recruitment, attendance, and completion rates, cost tracking, and reporting of adverse events. Preliminary efficacy was determined by examining point estimates and measures of variability for objective and self-reported outcomes.
    The study outcomes reveal that a combination of resistance exercise training and art sculpting is feasible, and the secondary findings support preliminary efficacy for improving positive body image and body appreciation in breast cancer survivors.

    To summarize, this thesis provided evidence that resistance exercise training and art therapy interventions are promising as interventions for improving body image in survivors of breast cancer separately (Chapter 2) and together (Chapter 4). However, more work is needed to find a tool that measures both the negative and positive aspects of body image (Chapter 3). Additionally, there is evidence to support that a combination of resistance exercise with art sculpting to promote body appreciation in breast cancer survivors is feasible (Chapter 4). As this thesis presents pilot research, the findings call for larger-scale trials to further investigate this alternative approach in addressing body image in breast cancer survivors.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
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