Use of Letter Writing as a Means of Integrating an Altered Body Image: A Case Study

Patrice Rancour

Kathryn Brauer

ONF 2003, 30(5), 841-846. DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.841-846

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the use of letter writing as a technique to assist patients in adjusting to an altered body image after dramatic cancer treatment.

Data Sources: Published articles and books.

Data Synthesis: Gestalt therapy, psychosynthesis, and journaling techniques evolve into a technique that can assist patients who are challenged to accept altered body parts.

Conclusions: Described in a case study presentation, letter writing was found to assist female patients with recurrent breast cancer in adjusting to reconstruction of lost breasts.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses can use letter writing as a means of assisting patients through the grief process associated with body image alterations.

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