Enabling patients to manage altered body image
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Enabling patients to manage altered body image

Bob Price Independent health services training consultant, Surrey, England

The author presented a model in the 1990s to explain altered body image, which has been used to characterise the difficulties encountered by patients who experience body change as a result of illness, injury or disability. However, it remains a challenge for nurses to establish care plans that can assist patients to manage the psychological adjustments associated with disfigurement. This article presents some simple questions to help patients narrate their psychological experiences and needs, and proposes a model of psychological change, based on the work of Kübler-Ross, to enable nurses to anticipate patient requirements that might arise at different stages of the individual’s recovery and rehabilitation. Body-image rehabilitation may be protracted. Therefore, it is essential for nurses to understand what the patient is thinking and feeling throughout the rehabilitation process and which stage of psychological change the patient is working through.

Nursing Standard. 31, 16-18, 60-71. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10576



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 June 2016

Accepted: 05 September 2016

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