Breast cancer survivors’ wearable product needs and wants: a challenge to designers

Karen L LaBat, Karen S. Ryan, Sherry Sanden-Will

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to gain basic knowledge of breast cancer survivors’ satisfaction with wearable products designed specifically for their needs. To achieve this objective a questionnaire was administered using a seven-point Likert scale and open-ended questions to query information regarding participants’ cancer diagnoses, experiences, and satisfaction with prostheses, bras, and lymphedema sleeves. The 51 participants represented the full range of cancer stages from treated pre-cancers to metastatic cancer. Participants had experienced various types of treatment including lumpectomy, mastectomy, lymph node dissection, radiation therapy, and reconstruction surgery. Participants described side effects of cancer treatment that influenced their satisfaction with wearable products and also provided opinions concerning design of the products. Participants were moderately satisfied with prostheses, mastectomy bras, and lymphedema sleeves, indicating that designers have the opportunity to work with breast cancer survivors to redesign and improve the products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-319
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2017


  • Bra
  • breast cancer
  • breast prostheses
  • lymphedema
  • user needs


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