Mind, body, and spirit self-empowerment for women with breast cancer

Kinney, C. K., Rodgers, D. M., Nash, K. A., & Bray, C. O. (2003). Holistic healing for women with breast cancer through a mind, body, and spirit self-empowerment program. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 21(3), 260-279. Full text.

This article reports results of an integrated mind-body-spirit self-empowerment program for breast cancer survivors. Fifty-women at various stages of breast cancer completed a series of eclectic lessons offered in a support group format. The followed an integrated and cumulative lesson plan that progressively and systematically introduced multiple strategies creating a balance among mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

The program’s goals were to enable to experience a reduction in distress, improve perceived quality of life, reach a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life and experience a greater sense of perceived wellness. Self-assessments were obtained on four well-documented measures to both pre- and postprogram participation. Differences in pre- and postscores showed statistically significant and large estimated effect sizes on all four measures. Participants’ written comments provide examples of the scope and of the program.

A protective factor against body image dissatisfaction

Pidgeon, A. M., & McNeil, E. (2013). Mindfulness, empowerment and feminist identity development as protective factors against women developing body image dissatisfaction. International Journal of Healing and Caring, 13(1), 1. Full text.

From the Abstract: Body image dissatisfaction among women is pervasive and associated with increased risk for maladaptive eating practices, poor self-concept, depression and psychological distress. … This study examines mindfulness, empowerment and feminist identity development as factors to protect women across the life span from developing body image dissatisfaction.

Participants were 199 women from the general population and university students ranging in age from 18 to 67 years.  The participants completed measures assessing body image dissatisfaction, mindfulness, empowerment and feminist identity development.  …  Results of the mediational analysis revealed that empowerment is a partial mediator between feminist identity development and body image dissatisfaction. 

These findings suggest that interventions designed to increase mindfulness, feminist identity development and empowerment may assist women to resist internalizing that the thin ideal of body shape is important for women and protect women from developing body image dissatisfaction. …