A mirror intervention for the postmastectomy mirror experience
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Through my research, I have come to understand that women who have undergone a significant body change due to trauma, surgery, or disease find viewing their bodies in a mirror is an emotionally charged, distressing experience. In this editorial, I focus on the experience of viewing self in the mirror postmastectomy, a nursing education intervention gleaned from an understanding of this experience, and this debate: Should we wait on randomized control trials (RCTs) prior to implementing interventions for the mirror experience for those women who will have a mastectomy OR is this a case in which we should abandon the hierarchy of evidence? Evidence-based practice (EBP) has had a tremendous impact of the quality of nursing care. In EBP, there is an emphasis on “identifying the best available research evidence and integrating it” (1). In order to determine the best literature, evidence hierarchies are used where RCTs and systematic reviews of RCTs are at the top of the hierarchy. As such, there is a great emphasis on this type of evidence. However, Polit and Beck (1) stress RCTs are not always appropriate for all clinical questions. I would argue that for women who have had a mastectomy with or without reconstructive surgery that RCTs are not necessarily needed in order to give compassionate nursing care and support toward the postmastectomy mirror experience.