Quality of Life Concepts

Secondary Health Conditions

Body Cathexis-Self Cathexis (BCSC) Scale

Description: A domain specific measure of subjective well-being that assesses the degree of a person’s satisfaction with various parts or processes of the body.

Format: 46 items ranked on a five-point scale:

1 = Have strong feelings and wish change could somehow be made
2 = Don’t like but can put up with
3 = Have no particular feelings one way or the other
4 = Am satisfied
5 = Consider myself fortunate.

Scoring: Each item is assigned a score equal to the rating assigned to it. Higher scores indicate greater body satisfaction. An overall score is achieved by summing the items and dividing the total score by 46.

Administration and Burden: Interviewer-administered; Self-administered. Approximately 15-20 minutes.

Psychometrics for SCI: Not available; The published norms for this measure are based on a sample of men and women college students, and the split-half reliability coefficients are satisfactory at 0.83. Although the BSCS is a valid and reliable measure used in the body image literature [1], which has been used with clinical populations such as multiple sclerosis [2], it has not been widely used with or validated for the spinal cord injury (SCI) population.

Language(s):  English.

QoL Concept: The BSCS is a measure of Subjective Well-Being, which corresponds to Box E (subjective evaluations and reactions; self-esteem) of Dijker’s Model.

Permissions/Where to Obtain: Public Domain; The BSCS can be obtained from the article:

Secord P, Jourard S. The appraisal of body cathexis: Body cathexis and the self. J Consult Psychol 1953;17:343-7.

References:

  1. Hammond SM, O'Rourke MM. A psychometric investigation into the body-cathexis scale Personality Ind Diff 1984;5:603-5

  2. Taleporos G, McCabe MP. The impact of physical disability on body esteem. Sex Disabil 2004;19:293-308.

CLICK ON THE LISTED SECONDARY HEALTH CONDITIONS ON THE LEFT TO READ HOW THE BCSC SCALE HAS BEEN USED WITH A PARTICULAR CONDITION


Pressure Ulcer SCI Studies:  One cross-sectional mixed-methods observational study:

  1. Harding-Okimoto MB. Pressure ulcers, self-concept and body image in spinal cord injury patients. SCI Nursing 1997;14:111-7.

Sensitivity to Impact: Harding-Okimoto (1997) found that the self-concept related to body image, assessed via the Body Cathexis-Self-Cathexis (BCSC), was lower in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and pressure ulcers (n = 5) than in those without ulcers (n = 5). Conversely, self-concept related to personal attributes was higher in the pressure ulcer group than the non-pressure ulcer group. However, no statistical significance of the findings was reported, and the qualitative findings were only descriptive.

Suggestions for Use: The BCSC may be an appropriate tool to determine the impact of pressure sores on self-esteem but further work is strongly needed to determine this conclusively.  Further, the BCSC has not been widely used nor validated for the SCI population. It may be prudent to pair the BCSC with another measure of subjective well-being validated for SCI.

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