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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 401–408 | Cite as

Quality of life in women with lipoedema: a contextual behavioral approach

  • Joanna E. Dudek
  • Wojciech Białaszek
  • Paweł Ostaszewski
Article

Abstract

Purpose

Lipoedema is a chronic, progressive adipose disorder of unknown etiology, often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as obesity. It manifests itself with accumulation of the fat in lower parts of the body and associated edema and, due to numerous physical and psychological consequences, affects the quality of life (QOL) of those who suffer. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological factors that might have an impact on the QOL of women with lipoedema from the contextual behavioral viewpoint.

Methods

In an Internet-based cross-sectional study, women suffering from lipoedema (N = 120) were asked to fill in questionnaires assessing: symptom severity, QOL (WHOQOL-BREF), satisfaction with life (SWLS), psychological flexibility (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II), social connectedness (Social Connectedness Scale-Revised) and other psychological factors. The majority of participants were from the USA, the UK, and Australia.

Results

Multiple hierarchical regression analyses showed that a higher level of QOL was predicted by higher levels of psychological flexibility and social connectedness, while controlling for symptom severity. Higher level of SWL was predicted only by higher level of social connectedness.

Conclusions

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with psychological flexibility as the target of change and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy with social connectedness as the target of change might be useful in treating women with lipoedema; however, further research in this area is needed. The authors conclude that psychological and biomedical interventions for women with lipoedema and their QOL merit more attention from researchers and the medical community than is currently received.

Keywords

Lipoedema Quality of life Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) Psychological flexibility Social connectedness 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study has been approved by the relevant research ethics committee.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna E. Dudek
    • 1
  • Wojciech Białaszek
    • 1
  • Paweł Ostaszewski
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland

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