The majority of Danish breast cancer survivors on adjuvant endocrine therapy have clinically relevant sexual dysfunction: a cross-sectional study

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Mia Fogh
  • ,
  • Astrid Højgaard, Sexological Centre, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Charlotte Birkmose Rotbøl, Department of Oncology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Anders Bonde Jensen

BACKGROUND: Impairments in sexual function are common among breast cancer survivors (BCSs), particularly in BCSs receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET). Whether these impairments cause distress, thus qualifying for a more clinically relevant diagnosis of sexual dysfunction (SD), is inadequately described among BCSs and represents an important research gap. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of clinically relevant SD, in this context: impairments with associated distress, and to identify factors associated with SD among BCSs on AET. Secondly, to explore the extent of distress caused by specific impairments in sexual function.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study of BCSs on adjuvant treatment with endocrine therapy for at least three months, participants completed an online survey comprising standardized measures of sexual and psychosocial function. Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Sexual Complaint Screener - Women (SCS-W) were used to asses clinically relevant SD. Multiple regression analyses were performed to identify factors significantly associated with SD.

RESULTS: In total, 333 BCSs with a mean age of 58.7 years were included in the study, of whom 227 were sexually active. Among sexually active BCSs, 134 (59%) met the criteria for having clinically relevant SD, of whom 78 (58%) perceived cancer treatment as the primary reason for their sexual problems. Factors associated with SD included vaginal dryness (adjusted OR= 2.25, 95% CI: 1.52-3.34, p < .01) and psychological well-being (adjusted OR= 1.11, 95% CI: 1.03-1.18, p < .01). Age was not related to neither prevalence of SD nor the level of distress caused by any impairment, with exception of low sexual desire. Pain in relation to intercourse was the most distressing impairment.

CONCLUSION: SD was highly prevalent among sexually active BCSs on AET. Sexual health is important to address independent of the woman's age.

TidsskriftActa oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
Sider (fra-til)61-68
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

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