Altered body image: the psychosocial needs of patients

Br J Community Nurs. 2002 Nov;7(11):563-6. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2002.7.11.10886.


The psychosocial consequences of a disfiguring condition are well recognized. However, severity does not predict distress, and conditions in which the disfiguration is relatively minor can be disturbing. While the appearance-related concerns of patients with so-called 'minor' conditions such as acne are gradually being reported, body image changes that occur as a result of other conditions and/or their treatment are often overlooked. This article describes an audit of the appearance-related concerns of patients with rheumatic disease and outlines ways in which community nurses might elicit their concerns and address their needs.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Body Image*
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Audit
  • Quality of Life
  • Rheumatic Diseases / psychology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires