Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kieran Fogarty


The intent of this three-paper format dissertation is to examine three topics germane to the clothing requirements and clothing acquisition of women who are postmastectomy. Each paper’s focus resides within a broader theme of addressing a population that has specialized clothing needs. While each study is independent in nature, they build on each other. The first paper describes the demographics of the population and how those demographics and treatment path for breast cancer provide a different framework for reaction to the retail offerings currently on the market. The next paper focuses on the association between demographics and treatment path of postmastectomy women and the preferences associated with venue selection for procuring clothing. Specifically, paper two looks at the importance of brick-and-mortar atmospherics as it relates to the characteristics of the fitting rooms as well as the importance of a sensitive and knowledgeable staff in the fitting room area. Lastly, looking through the framework of the differing demographics and treatment paths, paper three reviews discharge information needed to assist in clothing selection and modification. Paper three also addresses written information that women who are postmastectomy desire in relation to clothing selection and modification after breast cancer surgery, as well as potential clothing issues to expect throughout the treatment process and post-surgery stages.

Results from the first study develop an overarching concept to the design modification needed for the broad target market of women represented by the term post-mastectomy. The second study yields the breadth of issues germane to the challenges posed by physical surroundings when selecting clothing, based on demographics and treatment path. The third study defines the discharge information post-mastectomy women desire in the clothing transitions required to address issues throughout the treatment process.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access