Self-Attitude and Body Image Satisfaction in Women with Alopecia at Different Stages of Chemotherapy



Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures used in various oncological diseases are often accompanied by the unwanted and uncontrolled appearance defects. The presence of an acquired visible difference is a significant source of stress, which is often ignored. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between self-attitude and body image satisfaction in women with alopecia undergoing chemotherapy for cancer of the reproductive system. The study involved 20 women (mean age 52,15 years) without alopecia who start a course of chemotherapy treatment, and 20 women (mean age 51,55 years) with alopecia provoked by 10-40 courses of chemotherapy. An empirical study was conducted at the Ryazan Regional Clinical Oncology Center. Respondents were asked to fill out the Scale for assessing the level of satisfaction with the own body (O.A. Skugarevsky), the Self-Attitude Questionnaire (S.R. Pantileev), and to perform the projective technique “Human Figure Drawing” (K. Machover, F. Goodenough). Based on the obtained empirical data, specific regression models were revealed for each sample, demonstrating the dependence of self-attitude on the self-assessment of various components of the body image. In the experimental group of patients without alopecia, an adaptive level of self-acceptance is underlied by the high self-esteem of the external appearance of the chest (p=0,028), ears (p=0,039), and hair (p=0,017). Self-attachment among respondents in this group is determined by self-esteem of the abdomen (p=0,037). In the experimental group of patients with alopecia, other components of self-attitude were the most significant. The level of self-accusation is determined by the self-esteem of the pelvic region (p=0,048), ears (p=0,043), and hair (p=0,047). The reflected Self-attitude is determined to self-esteem of the chest (p=0,029), back (p=0,032), and arms (p=0,027). The patterns revealed in each sample are confirmed by the results of the projective technique “Human Figure Drawing”. Women with cancer of the reproductive organs, both before and after chemotherapy, mainly pay attention to those components of the body image that are associated with femininity and physical attractiveness, as well as those that undergo severe changes in the process of radical treatment.

General Information

Keywords: cancer, alopecia, body image, self-attitude, visible difference

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Faustova A.G., Vinogradova I.S. Self-Attitude and Body Image Satisfaction in Women with Alopecia at Different Stages of Chemotherapy [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 173–195. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2020090209. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anna. G. Faustova, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Chair of Clinical Psychology, Ryazan State Medical University, Ryazan, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina S. Vinogradova, Clinical Psychology Student, Ryazan State Medical University, Ryazan, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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