Body Image and Appearance-Altering Conditions
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“Body image” is a multidimensional construct and refers to a person’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, in relation to their body (Grogan 2008). This encompasses the body’s functions and capabilities, in addition to its appearance.
An altered appearance, or one considered different from the “norm,” can be a consequence of congenital conditions, injuries, disease, or treatments for disease. Some congenital conditions present appearance differences from birth, but their visibility may reduce over time following treatment. These include craniofacial irregularities (e.g., cleft lip and/or palate; Treacher Collins syndrome), vascular anomalies (e.g., hemangiomas; port-wine stains), and congenital limb defects (e.g., absence of a limb, fusion of fingers or toes). Other congenital...
References and Further Reading
- Bessell, A., Brough, V., Clarke, A., Harcourt, D., Moss, T. P., & Rumsey, N. (2012). Evaluation of the effectiveness of Face IT, a computer-based psychosocial intervention for disfigurement-related distress. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 17(5), 565–577. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2011.647701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grogan, S. (2008). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Rumsey, N., & Harcourt, D. (2011). Body image and congenital conditions resulting in visible difference. In T. F. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.), Body image: A handbook of science, practice, and prevention (Vol. 1, 2nd ed., pp. 253–260). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Sherman, K. A., Przezdziecki, A., Alcorso, J., Kilby, C. J., Elder, E., Boyages, J., … Mackie, H. (2018). Reducing body image-related distress in women with breast cancer using a structured online writing exercise: Results from the My Changed Body randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(19), 1930–1940. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.76.3318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar