1 Iconography
Access to the text (HTML) Access to the text (HTML)
PDF Access to the PDF text

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription.
  • If you are a subscriber, please sign in 'My Account' at the top right of the screen.

  • If you want to subscribe to this journal, see our rates

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 80, n° 6
pages 1671-1681 (juin 2019)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.01.059
accepted : 23 January 2019
Original Articles

Patients believe that cosmetic procedures affect their quality of life: An interview study of patient-reported motivations

Abigail Waldman, MD a, b, c, Amanda Maisel, BS d, Alexandra Weil, BS d, Sanjana Iyengar, MD d, Kaitlyn Sacotte, BS d, Jake M. Lazaroff, BA d, Sasha Kurumety, BA d, Sara L. Shaunfield, PhD e, Kelly A. Reynolds, BA d, Emily Poon, PhD d, June K. Robinson, MD d, Murad Alam, MD, MSCI, MBA d, f, g,
a Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 
b VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts 
c Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 
d Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 
e Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 
f Department of Otolaryngology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 
g Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 

Reprint requests: Murad Alam, MD, MSCI, MBA, 676 N St. Clair St, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60611.676 N St. Clair StSuite 1600ChicagoIL60611

Although treatments to address cosmetic concerns are common, patients’ self-reported motives for considering such procedures have not been systematically explored.


To develop a framework of categories to describe patients' self-reported motivations for undergoing minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.


Face-to-face, semistructured patient interviews were conducted with adult participants who had undergone or were considering minimally invasive cosmetic dermatologic procedures. A qualitative constant comparative approach was used to analyze interview transcripts, yielding themes and subthemes.


A total of 30 interviews were completed. Most patient-reported motivations for cosmetic procedures could be subsumed under 8 general categories (themes): (1) mental and emotional health, (2) cosmetic appearance, (3) physical health, (4) work and/or school success, (5) social well-being, (6) cost and/or convenience, (7) procedural perceptions, and (8) timing of treatment. Many individual motivations in these categories were unrelated to desire for physical beauty. In particular, participants wanted to avoid being self-conscious, enhance confidence, reduce the time and expense required to conceal physical imperfections, and be perceived as capable at work.


Only English-speaking patients in the United States were interviewed.


Patient-reported motivations for cosmetic procedures mostly pertained to physical and psychosocial well-being. Indeed, a desire for improved cosmetic appearance was only 1 of the 8 themes revealed through the patient interviews.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : affect, appearance, believe, cosmetic, emotion, interview, motivations, patient, patient-reported, procedures, qualitative, quality of life

 Funding sources: Supported by an ASDS/Fredric Brandt Research Grant awarded to Dr Waldman.
 Conflicts of interest: None disclosed.

© 2019  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@
EM-CONSULTE.COM is registrered at the CNIL, déclaration n° 1286925.
As per the Law relating to information storage and personal integrity, you have the right to oppose (art 26 of that law), access (art 34 of that law) and rectify (art 36 of that law) your personal data. You may thus request that your data, should it be inaccurate, incomplete, unclear, outdated, not be used or stored, be corrected, clarified, updated or deleted.
Personal information regarding our website's visitors, including their identity, is confidential.
The owners of this website hereby guarantee to respect the legal confidentiality conditions, applicable in France, and not to disclose this data to third parties.
Article Outline