Author: Leung, Ting Fong
Title: Mastectomy bra and prosthesis design innovation for Hong Kong mastectomy patients
Advisors: Shin, Kristina (ITC)
Han, Fred (SD)
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2017
Subject: Brassieres -- Design.
Prosthesis -- Design.
Breast -- Cancer -- Patients -- China -- Hong Kong.
Mastectomy -- Patients -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: xx, 213 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: In Hong Kong, breast cancer, one of the top three fatal cancers, has become the most common cancer affecting women. The incidence rate in Hong Kong has been rising substantially and the age of breast cancer diagnosis has become increasingly younger. Though most breast cancer patients have managed to survive mastectomy, and up to 90% of them use external breast prostheses, there have been limited choice for mastectomy patients in terms of prostheses and mastectomy bras. Since the design and development of mastectomy bras and prostheses are largely Western-centric, Asian breast cancer patients (e.g. Hong Kong patients) often have difficulty finding good-fitting prostheses and mastectomy bras, which has led to many physiological and psychological health problems. For example, heat build-up, one of the most commonly reported issues with post-mastectomy products, has persistently created discomfort for mastectomy patients despite a wide range of products available in the market. Those products are claimed to solve the heat build-up problem; however, without proper scientific performance evaluation, some of them actually give additional confusion and stress to mastectomy patients who have already suffered quite a lot from post-mastectomy trauma. This study aims to identify the prosthetic needs of Hong Kong mastectomized women and to create a design solution to enhance patients' satisfaction and quality of life by using 3D-based design technologies. A set of heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bras and breast prostheses was created based on the survey results of 200 local mastectomized ladies. The performances of the heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bras and breast prostheses were evaluated with the help of a clothing comfort evaluation experiment utilizing skin temperature (°C), humidity (RH%) and core body temperature (Tcore). A commonly used conventional mastectomy bra was used as a control sample against the suggested solution of this study.
A 90-min wear trial was conducted inside a controlled chamber at a temperature of 25ºC and a relative humidity of 70%. 9 participants were invited to perform five daily activities including sitting, walking at 5km/h, running at 8km/h, slow walking/cooling down at 3km/h, and sitting in experiment attire designed to minimize experimental errors, consisting of a conventional mastectomy bra and prosthesis, a heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bra and prosthesis, a brief, a tracksuit top and a pair of running shorts. Evaluation results demonstrated that when the participants wore the heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bra and prosthesis, their chest skin temperature, core body temperature, and humidity inside the bra were 0.2 - 1.7ºC (p<0.05), 0.1±0.2 ºC to 0.2±0.5 ºC (p<0.05), and 3 - 12% (p<0.05) respectively, all of which were lower than those of the conventional mastectomy bra and prosthesis. Thus, the heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bra and prosthesis yielded higher scores in sensitive sensations such as dry, non-adhesive, breathable, light and cool, providing more clothing comfort for the participants. In conclusion, the heat-and-moisture reduction mastectomy bra and prosthesis created in this study could provide better clothing comfort for mastectomy patients by solving the heat build-up problem whilst the protocol of the wear trial experiment presented in this study could be implemented as a scientific performance evaluation method for post-mastectomy products.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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