Breast cancer surgery as expressed in self figure drawings

Ziva Ariela Barel - Shoshani, Shulamith Kreitler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined expression of distress and changes in self-perception in breast cancer patients who underwent different surgeries (lumpectomy/mastectomy) via analysis of their self-figure drawings. It was assumed that the two types of surgery would affect their bodies differently and hence also their body- and self-image. The Machover Draw-A-Person test was administered twice to 72 survivors (47 underwent conserving surgery and 25 a mastectomy): first, they were asked to draw themselves in the present; then they were asked to draw themselves as they remembered themselves pre-illness. The expressions in self-figure drawings were compared using sixteen indicators. The results show that 11 of 16 indices clearly indicated differences in self-perception between the pre-illness past self and the self-perception of the present self, in women who underwent different breast surgeries. The indices were: breast, mouth, height, body outline, eyes, hair, feminine figure, and palms/hands. No differences were found for 5 indices: lower body, head outline, feminine clothes and accessories, feminine body, pointed fingers. Conclusions: It is suggested that the projective DAP test be used as an aid for identifying changes in features of self-portrayal. It could also be applied when planning an intervention for the alleviation of distress via structured supportive care in breast cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101841
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Volume75
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • DAP draw a person
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Projective tool
  • Self-figure drawing
  • Surgery

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