Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Cancer and changes in facial appearance: A meta‐ethnography of qualitative studies

Thompson, Andrew R. ORCID:, Sewards, Iona and Baker, Sarah R. 2020. Cancer and changes in facial appearance: A meta‐ethnography of qualitative studies. British Journal of Health Psychology 25 (1) , pp. 129-151. 10.1111/bjhp.12398

[thumbnail of bjhp.12398.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (300kB)


Introduction. Living with an altered facial appearance as a result of treatment for cancer requires considerable psychological adjustment. As such it is essential that health care professionals understand the lived experience of people affected. This systematic review provides a meta-ethnography of studies that have explored the experience of changed facial appearance as a result of cancer. Methods. A search of four databases (Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Scopus) took place using terms relating to qualitative research, cancer, and changed facial appearance. Thirteen studies were identified, appraised, and included in the synthesis. The findings and interpretations within the studies were subject to meta-ethnography procedures so as to elicit novel cross-cutting themes. Findings. The experience of changed facial appearance after cancer was clustered into three contexts. In the context of the disease, subthemes were the primacy of survival, the changing relationship with the disease, and the impact of the care team on the experience of changed appearance. In the context of the social world, subthemes were positive reactions, negative reactions, and coping strategies. In the context of the self, subthemes were the self under attack, self-to-self relating, the self in the world, and rebuilding the self. Conclusions. The findings indicate that health care professionals must conduct holistic assessments, so as to fully recognize and where necessary address the impact upon self. The meta-ethnography shows that the experience of facial appearance change following cancer is complex and requires awareness of a number of theoretical areas including identity construction, social support, stigmatization, and the specific literature on visible difference

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1359-107X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 April 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 01:26

Citation Data

Cited 3 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics