Background: Body image is a critical psychosocial issue for patients facing treatment for oral cancer, yet there is limited research conducted in this area. This study uses a multidimensional approach to body image assessment and evaluates relationships between body image, demographic, health, and psychosocial variables.
Methods: Newly diagnosed patients with oral cancer completed self-report questionnaires and a structured clinical interview.
Results: Most participants identified current and/or future body image concerns primarily related to impending surgery. Adequate psychometric properties were demonstrated on a range of body image measures. Depression was the strongest and most consistent predictor of body image outcomes.
Conclusions: Preliminary evidence supports the importance of evaluating body image concerns in oral cancer patients prior to surgical intervention. Our findings have implications for developing validated body image tools and can be used to guide psychosocial interventions targeting body image disturbance.