DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_344_22 ISSN: 2590-3233

A cross-sectional comparative study of self-compassion, body perception, and post-traumatic growth in women diagnosed with breast cancer versus those without a cancer diagnosis

Şervan Kaplan, Kader Bahayi, Haydeh Faraji
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology (nursing)
  • Drug Guides
  • Oncology


The diagnosis of breast cancer is a traumatic experience that might have a psychological impact on patients. Studies have revealed that self-compassion is significantly related to body image and post-traumatic growth.


We aimed to compare the relationship between self-compassion, post-traumatic growth, and body image between healthy individuals and patients with breast cancer.

Materials and Methods:

This study was designed as a causal-comparative model and was conducted between May 8, 2022, and June 15, 2022, via open social media platforms. We enrolled women aged 18-65 years who resided in Mersin, Türkiye. Our cohort consisted of women with breast cancer and a control group of healthy women who had not been diagnosed with breast cancer. We used the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory, Self-Compassion Scale, the Body Cathexis Scale, and sociodemographic data forms for collecting information from participants.


We enrolled 174 participants; 80 patients with breast cancer, and 94 healthy controls. Self-compassion showed a higher prediction for post-traumatic growth in the group of patients with breast cancer (P < 0.001), whereas it showed a higher prediction for body image in the group of healthy individuals (P < 0.001). In patients with breast cancer, changes in relationships with others (P, 0.032) were higher, while body perception (P < 0.001) and self-compassion (P, 0.046) were lower than in individuals without a diagnosis of breast cancer. Furthermore, we found that patients with breast cancer who perceived that they had been provided with sufficient disease-related information showed higher scores on the self-compassion scale (P, 0.013).


Self-compassion is an internal resource that can aid women in adjusting to the physical and psychological changes resulting from cancer or any kind of traumatic experience. Furthermore, self-compassion can be a solution for body dissatisfaction.

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