Evid Based Nurs 1:133 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.4.133
  • Qualitative

Reimaging after an alteration in appearance or function involved 3 phases with assimilation, accommodation, and interpretation

 Question What are the processes of reimaging that people use as they adapt to an alteration in body appearance or function over a period of 18 months?


Grounded theory.


Community study in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.


32 adults were recruited through advertisements in newspapers and contact with health professionals. All had a substantial alteration in physical appearance or function (weight change >22.7 kg; loss or paralysis of body parts; ostomies; scarring from burns, surgery, or trauma; surgical reconstruction; or cardiac transplantation). 28 participants completed all aspects of the study. Age range was 19–85 years with a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. 89% were white and 75% were women.


Participants were interviewed 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after their alteration in body function or appearance. Interviews were done using a broad interview guide with relevant prompts. The interview focused on participants' perceptions of themselves and their experiences during the study, and their thoughts, feelings, adaptive strategies, and perceptions of the responses of others. Interviews were …

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