Clinical relevance of a Body Image Scale cut point of 10 as an indicator of psychological distress in cancer patients: results from a psychiatric oncology clinic

Deepti Chopra, Richard De La Garza, Tamara E. Lacourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Adequate adjustment to bodily changes during various phases of cancer treatment is important to patients’ emotional well-being. The Body Image Scale (BIS) is a widely used tool for assessment of body image concerns in different cancer types. However, a cut point score indicative of clinically relevant body image concerns has not been established. The purpose of our study was to evaluate whether the previously suggested, but not validated, BIS cut point score of ≥ 10 is an adequate indicator of psychological distress. Methods: In a prospective cross-sectional study, 590 adult patients were recruited from a psychiatric oncology clinic (November 2017–March 2018). Patient-reported body image concerns, depression, anxiety, and emotional distress were assessed with the BIS, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7, and National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Thermometer, respectively. Results: Almost half of the patients had a BIS score ≥ 10; these were more likely to be younger, female, Hispanic, and to have breast cancer than patients with a score < 10. BIS scores were positively associated with depression, anxiety, and distress scores. A BIS score ≥ 10 was a significant predictor of moderate depression and anxiety (odds ratios = 3.555 [95% CI 2.478–5.102] and 3.655 [2.493–5.358]; p < 0.001 for both). Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to have assessed the validity of the previously suggested clinically relevant BIS cut point score of ≥ 10 as an indicator of psychological distress. Our results suggest that a BIS score of ≥ 10 or higher should lead to follow-up on body image concerns and/or appropriate referral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Body image
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Distress
  • Physical appearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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