Al-Sahari M M, MacEntee M, Thorne S, Bryant S B. A qualitative synthesis of theories on psychosocial response to the loss of breasts, limbs or teeth. J Dent 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.jjodo.2020.100014.

Psychometric testing could predict reactions to loss of body parts.

Reactions to the loss of limbs, breasts or teeth include shock, anger, dismay, gloom, anxiety about personal appearance, loss of personal autonomy and sexuality. Previously, 89 primary theories have been developed to attempt to understand the various psychosocial reactions to the loss of anatomical parts. This paper synthesises these to five theories: Communication theory - the importance of clinician/patient relationships; Developmental regulation theory - the effect of experience, adaptive capacities and life goals; Motion theory - coping strategies used during stressful events; Social cognitive theory - behavioural and environmental interactions, self-efficacy and sense of coherence; Resource theory - human resources, such as social support and personal finance.

Each theory contributes different aspects to the experience of loss of body parts. This synthesis of response theories may lead to a psychometric test with the capacity to predict psychosocial responses to tissue loss.