Recent research conducted by psychologists and plastic surgeons has shown how well-defined personalities in patients can have a negative impact on appraisal of the outcome of surgical treatment and underlie assessments of dissatisfaction, even in marked contrast with objective results. 'Narcissistic' - type personalities, most commonly encountered in patients seeking plastic surgery, are the ones which most frequently seem to create legal problems for professionals. More broadly speaking, when not controlled and evaluated, generic disorders of the psychological sphere, such as Anxiety or Depression, may confuse or interfere with the results of clinical trials, since the variables adopted to assess the effectiveness of any type of therapeutic technique are chiefly based on subjective observation. In order to provide doctors with a simple assessment tool, which helps them check for interference from psychological variables in the outcome of their operation, a questionnaire has been developed and proposed to subjectively evaluate own image (A.P.I.). The instrument consists of a 'Self-Assessment Scale' which is filled out directly by the patient. It is divided up into six 'domains' or 'scales', each composed of eight simple questions, which patients are asked to answer without delay: 1) Perception of own physical appearance in general; 2) Perception of appearance of own face: 3) Perception of defects in own face; 4) Anxleiy; 5) Depression; 6) Somatization. Patients attribute the response to each item along a 5- point Likert-type scale. The scores enable doctors to quantify patients subjective impressions of the defects for which medical correction is sought. The A.P.I. Questionnaire also includes some generic psychological variables which, if appropriately evaluated, may aid comprehension of subjective assessments of outcome. The various developmental stages of the questionnaire and its initial validation are described, together with some preliminary findings based on a few examples of implementation. Stress must, however, be laid on the fact that the instrument is still only a proposal and will be subject to further control. The aim of developing the questionnaire was to provide specialists with a simple, valid tool for checking the impact of psychological and personality-related factors on the outcome of treatment. Employment of the questionnaire is not currently intended for diagnostic purposes.
|Translated title of the contribution||A questionnaire for cosmetic surgery and medicine 'self-assessment of own image' (A.P.I.)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Rivista Italiana di Chirurgia Plastica|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
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