- Factors Associated With Specific Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Sexual Dysfunctions in Breast Cancer Survivors
- A Study of Patients and Their Partners
- The Journal of Sexual Medicine
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 10
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
BACKGROUND: Many women develop sexual problems after breast cancer (BC) treatment. Little is known about BC survivors with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) sexual dysfunction and their partners, and the factors associated with their sexual functioning.
AIM: To evaluate (i) patient-related and clinical factors associated with (a) specific DSM-IV sexual dysfunctions and (b) level of sexual functioning and sexual distress as reported by BC survivors and (ii) the association between the sexual functioning of BC survivors and that of their partners.
METHODS: We analyzed baseline data from a study of the efficacy of online cognitive-behavioral therapy for sexual dysfunction in BC survivors.
OUTCOMES: Women completed self-report questionnaires assessing sexual functioning, sexual distress, relationship intimacy, marital functioning, menopausal symptoms, body image, and psychological distress. Their partners completed questionnaires assessing sexual functioning.
RESULTS: The study included 169 BC survivors and 67 partners. The most prevalent female sexual dysfunctions were hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD; 83%), sexual arousal disorder (40%), and dyspareunia (33%). Endocrine therapy was associated with HSDD (P = .003), and immunotherapy was associated with dyspareunia (P = .009). Older age was associated with lower sexual distress (P < .001). Depressive symptoms were highest in women with sexual arousal disorder (P = .004). An indication for erectile disorder was present in two thirds of partners. Lower overall partner sexual satisfaction was associated with lower overall BC survivor sexual functioning (P = .001), lower female arousal (P = .002), and lower female sexual satisfaction (P = .001). Poorer male erectile function was related to higher female sexual pain (P = .006). Partners of women who underwent breast reconstruction reported marginally significantly better orgasmic functioning (P = .012) and overall sexual functioning (P = .015) than partners of women who had undergone breast-conserving treatment.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: BC survivors and their partners experience sexual problems after BC treatment. This suggests that not only the BC survivor but also her partner could benefit from sexual counseling.
STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This is the first study focusing on BC survivors with a DSM-IV sexual dysfunction and their partners. The results cannot necessarily be generalized to women experiencing milder sexual problems or who have no interest in receiving sexual counseling.
CONCLUSION: Endocrine therapy and immunotherapy are relevant risk factors for HSDD and dyspareunia in BC survivors. The sexual functioning of women and their partners is affected, underscoring the importance of involving both partners in sexual counseling after BC treatment. Hummel SB, Hahn DEE, van Lankveld JJDM, et al. Factors Associated With Specific Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Sexual Dysfunctions in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Study of Patients and Their Partners. J Sex Med 2017;14:1248-1259.
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