Efficacy of stress management and psychosocial interventions on body image in breast cancer survivors-A systematic review

  • Maria Charalampopoulou
  • Elena Kritseli
  • George P. Chrousos
  • Christina Darviri


Breast cancer surgery and prolonged anticancer treatments lead to temporary of permanent changes in the appearance of the patients. Breast cancer conservative surgery or reconstruction can improve body image disturbances, however a subgroup of breast cancer survivors experience elevated levels of anxiety, depression and increased risk of mortality. Common practices often camouflage and target on temporary appearance changes. This paper systematically reviews the effectiveness of interventions on body image outcomes in this group, in order to inform healthcare providers. Pubmed and Scopus were searched for articles published from the start of the literature until 2018 that evaluated interventions with women who had undergone treatment for breast cancer in controlled trials with at least one body image measure. Data were extracted and studies were assessed for their methodological quality using the Jadad Scale. Results indicated four interventions that included a multimodal residential program, a multi-activity exercise program, a strength training program and a mindfulness based stress reduction intervention. We recommend that such interventions should be prioritized and be recommended to health care professionals aiming to improve body image among breast cancer survivors

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