A Novel, Disease-Specific Self-Report Instrument to Measure Body Image Concerns in Patients With Head and Neck Skin Cancer

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Skin cancer commonly occurs on areas that are salient to body image perception (i.e., head and neck). Patients with head and neck skin cancer (HNSC) may experience negative body image perceptions related to their disease, which is concerning, given the numerous negative sequelae of poor body image. However, there are no existing disease-specific measures of body image concerns in HNSC.


To develop and examine the psychometric properties of a brief self-report, disease-specific measure of body image concerns in patients with HNSC—the Body Image Questionnaire (BIQ).


Patients with HNSC completed the BIQ before (n = 239) and 6 months after (n = 80) treatment with Mohs micrographic surgery. Analyses examined the internal consistency, convergent validity, and factor structure of the BIQ.


Internal consistency reliability was acceptable, and the measure demonstrated convergent validity with well-being. Four dimensions underlie the BIQ: appearance satisfaction, appearance avoidance, head/neck/skin-specific dissatisfaction, and perceived change.


The BIQ is a valid and internally reliable disease-specific instrument that measures body image concerns in patients with HNSC.

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