Exploration of the decision-making processes, perceptions of risk and psycho-social experiences among young women undergoing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy

Rachael Wynne Glassey

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis investigated the perceptions and experiences of 46 women aged less than 35 years with a familial history of breast cancer who were considering, or had undergone, bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (BPM). The decision to undergo BPM was often underpinned by fear, with surgery not always relieving anxiety. Clinicians had an important influence on decision-making and risk perception. Psychological support and open communication improved satisfaction with body image and intimacy. Integration of services and giving consistent information were identified areas for improvement. Practice implications for young women considering BPM include, routine referral to a psychologist and a multidisciplinary team approach.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Saunders, Christobel, Supervisor
  • Ives, Angela, Supervisor
  • Hardcastle, Sarah, Supervisor
  • O'Connor, Moira, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date2 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Decision Making
Psychology
Body Image
Fear
Referral and Consultation
Anxiety
Communication
Prophylactic Mastectomy
Familial Breast Cancer

Cite this

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AB - This thesis investigated the perceptions and experiences of 46 women aged less than 35 years with a familial history of breast cancer who were considering, or had undergone, bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (BPM). The decision to undergo BPM was often underpinned by fear, with surgery not always relieving anxiety. Clinicians had an important influence on decision-making and risk perception. Psychological support and open communication improved satisfaction with body image and intimacy. Integration of services and giving consistent information were identified areas for improvement. Practice implications for young women considering BPM include, routine referral to a psychologist and a multidisciplinary team approach.

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