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Title: Thermal and moisture comfort mastectomy bra and prosthesis
Authors: Shin, K 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This research investigates breast cancer survivors’ post-mastectomy product needs, and the redesigning of postmastectomy products for improvement in quality of life.
The study consists of three phases:
Phase I - Investigation of post-mastectomy products currently available on the market and HK mastectomized women’s post- mastectomy product needs;
Phase II -Design and development of three post-mastectomy products, the mastectomy bra, a prosthesis, and an integrative clip; Phase III - Wear trials with two products, the mastectomy bra and the prosthesis.
The survey study revealed that: 1) there is heat and moisture build-up from currently available mastectomy bra and prosthesis; and 2) fashion bras are incompatible for accommodating the prostheses and generally have a negative impact on HK mastectomized women’s quality of life. This is the first study to investigate thermal and moisture comfort performance of mastectomy bras and prostheses. In addition, this is the first ever mastectomy bra and prosthesis that lowers skin temperature and moisture levels. The mastectomy bra also lowers core-body temperature when compared to that of commercial products (i.e., 0.2°C – 1.6°C lower skin temperature (p = 0.00), 1.7% – 11.5% lower humidity increment (p = 0.00), 0.1°C – 0.2°C (p = 0.00) core body temperature. Research outputs include two Chinese patents for prosthesis (2017) and the garment clip (2017), a gold award and a best invention certificate from the Seoul International Invention Fair (2015), a journal paper (2019), three conference papers (2015& 2019), two invited speaking engagements (2017 & 2019), and a showcase at a healthcare and medical fair (2016).
This research developed novel post-mastectomy products and a thermal and moisture comfort performance testing protocol. The research was possible due to a collective effort of breast cancer survivors, bra design specialists, product design practitioners, and textiles and clothing testing experts.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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