The psyche with regard to the body – in sickness and in health

Today we have access to medicine of chronic diseases, which induces researchers to attempt to find factors supporting the quality of life among different patient groups. Despite the fact that the lifetime of severely ill patients has extended, it has been noticed that longer survival does not always bring them more happiness. More and more authors are underlining the necessity to quit the traditional, reductionist-and-biomedical model of understanding of disease, suggesting consideration of the biopsychosocial model of health and sickness. Hence the visible turn of professionals in various disciplines towards subjective assessment of patients’ own functioning and well-being. This is particularly significant in the process of psychotherapy and psychological support directed to patients with chronic somatic diseases. One of very important subjective factors affecting how patients deal with their disease is their subjective image of their body. It has been noticed that disease may significantly distort how patients see their own bodies. In turn, the worse the body image is, the worse will be the process of adaptation to disease and treatment. In our studies we traced the importance of the body image both among somatically healthy patients with emotional problems (symptoms of depression) and among somatically ill patients. If you are interested in the current results of the said studies, feel welcome to read some of our publications:

Pięta, M., Rzeszutek, M., Lendzion, M., Grymowicz, M., Pięta W.,Kasperowicz, A., Kucharski, M., Przybył, M., & Smolarczyk, R. (2021). Body Image During Pregnancy in the Era of Coronavirus Disease 2019: The Role of Heterogeneous Patterns of Perceived Social Support. Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 742525.

Rzeszutek M., Podkowa K., Pięta M., Pankowski D., Cyran-Stemplewska S. (2021). Comparative study of life satisfaction among patients with psoriasis versus healthy comparison group: the explanatory role of body image and resource profiles. Quality of Life Research, 30, 181–191.

Rzeszutek M., Pięta M., Huzar M. (2019). Profiles of resources and body image in health and illness: A comparative study among females with rheumatoid arthritis, females with breast cancer and healthy controls. Brain and Behavior; e01488.

Pięta M., Rzeszutek M., Gasik R. (2019). Body image, pain and level of resources among arthritis patients: the moderating role of gender. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 25, 802–811.

Rzeszutek M., Oniszczenko W., Schier K., Biernat-Kałuża E., Gasik R. (2016). Sex differences in trauma symptoms, body image and intensity of pain in a Polish sample of men and women suffering from chronic pain. Psychology Health & Medicine 21, 827–835.

Rzeszutek M., Schier K. (2008). Doświadczenia utraty a obraz własnego ciała u młodych dorosłych [Experience of loss versus the body image in young adults]. Psychologia-Etologia-Genetyka, 17, 89–110.

Rzeszutek M., Schier K. (2008). Tak bolesne, że aż obce? Związek pomiędzy depresją a obrazem ciała u młodych dorosłych [So painful it becomes foreign? Connection between depression and body image in young adults]. Psychoterapia, 4, pp. 5–16.

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