PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: To examine the concept of self-esteem as it relates to female patients with cancer before diagnosis and while experiencing chemotherapy-induced alopecia. DESIGN: Descriptive-analytic. SETTING: Oncology unit of a community hospital and an outpatient oncology clinic in a southeastern city of the United States. SAMPLE: 30 women receiving chemotherapy and who have experienced some degree of alopecia. METHODS: Subjects answered demographic questions and were evaluated for degree of hair loss. Subjects completed the Cantril Self-Anchoring Scale (CSA) on the day of the interview and retrospectively prior to their diagnosis. In addition they completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE). MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Self-esteem, change over time, degree of alopecia, length of time since diagnosis. FINDINGS: A significant decrease in self-esteem from before cancer diagnosis levels to time of experiencing chemotherapy-induced alopecia; modest correlation between the CSA and the RSE. Four categories of characteristics (physical, spiritual, psychological, social) influencing self-esteem emerged from analysis of the CSA responses. CONCLUSIONS: Self-esteem was not stable in this group of women. Postdiagnosis levels were lower than those before the diagnosis; however, lower levels did not necessarily translate into low self-esteem. The CSA may be a more comprehensive and sensitive measure of self-esteem in patients with cancer because it is based on individual definitions of high and low self-esteem. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Understanding what specifically may lower an individual's self-esteem can be useful in identifying patient-specific interventions. Future research must explore ways to determine self-esteem consistently and easily.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Oncology nursing forum|
|State||Published - May 1 1994|
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