Body Dysmorphic Disorder Examination, body image, Body Investment Scale, quality of life, mental health, surgical wound dehiscence, wound care



  1. de Lima, Edson Luiz MD, MS
  2. de Brito, Maria Jose Azevedo PhD
  3. da Cunha, Joao Batista MS, RN
  4. Duarte, Maria Fernanda Pereira BSN
  5. Correa, Nely Flavia Machado BSN
  6. de Carvalho Resende, Margarida Maria PhD, RN
  7. Ferreira, Lydia Masako MD, PhD


OBJECTIVE: To identify changes in body image in patients with surgical wound dehiscence.


DESIGN AND SETTING: This cross-sectional, descriptive, analytical study was conducted in a university hospital and nursing care center in Brazil.


PATIENTS AND INTERVENTION: Sixty-one adult surgical patients of both genders from different inpatient wards or receiving outpatient care were selected. Forty-one participants had surgical wound dehiscence, and 20 had achieved complete wound healing (controls).


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Examination (BDDE), Body Investment Scale (BIS), and a questionnaire assessing clinical and sociodemographic characteristics of patients were used for data collection.


MAIN RESULTS: Surgical wound dehiscence defects were 0.5 to 30 cm in length, located on the arms, legs, and chest. They were significantly associated with being white (P = .048), number of children (P = .024), and presence of comorbid conditions (P = .01). Overall, men reported higher BIS scores (positive feelings about the body) than women (P = .035). Patients with wound dehiscence had higher BDDE scores (negative body image) than controls (P = .013). The BDDE scores were associated with presence of surgical wound dehiscence (P = .013), number of children (P = .009), and wound length (P = .02). There were significant correlations between BIS scores in men with wound dehiscence (P = .042), number of children (P < .001), and BDDE scores (P < .001) and between BDDE scores and number of children (P = .031), wound length (P = .028), and BIS scores (P < .001).


CONCLUSION: Surgical wound dehiscence had a negative impact on body image.