Scientists have discovered that certain personality traits are linked to higher quality-of-life scores in breast cancer patients, who undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Dr. Silvio Bellino and colleagues of University of Turin, Italy, gave a battery of psychological tests to 57 women with breast cancer who underwent mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction.
The goal was to look at how various personality dimensions and patterns of interpersonal functioning affected quality of life after surgery.
They found two personality types were linked to higher quality-of-life scores.
This included women with high scores for the temperamental characteristic of "harm avoidance"-a group that Bellino and coauthors characterize as "apprehensive and doubtful."
For these patients, they said, "Restoration of body image could help to reduce social anxiety and insecurity."
Patients rated as "vindictive/self-centered" on a scale of interpersonal problems also had higher quality-of-life scores.
"Vindictive/self-centered patients are resentful and aggressive," according to Bellino team.
Overall, mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction yielded significant improvement in quality of life.
The new study is one of the first to look at how personality factors might affect patient satisfaction and quality of life after mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
The study appeared in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (ANI)