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03.09.2019 | Ausgabe 1/2020

Journal of Cancer Survivorship 1/2020

Sexual health and rehabilitation after ovarian suppression treatment (SHARE-OS): a clinical intervention for young breast cancer survivors

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Cancer Survivorship > Ausgabe 1/2020
Autoren:
Sharon L. Bober, E. Fine, C. J. Recklitis
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Purpose

Each year, thousands of young breast cancer (BC) patients confront the difficult decision to medically suppress ovarian function and undergo abrupt, premature menopause to reduce risk of cancer recurrence. Unlike natural menopause, young women undergoing ovarian suppression (OS) face severe and disruptive side effects. Profound sexual dysfunction is one of the most prevalent, distressing side effects of OS treatment. Unmanaged sexual dysfunction is also a primary predictor of non-adherence to this potentially life-saving treatment. We developed and tested a brief, psychosexual intervention targeted to manage sexual dysfunction and psychological distress after OS in young BC survivors.

Methods

Twenty young BC survivors with sexual dysfunction received a single 4-h group intervention that included sexual health rehabilitation, body awareness exercises, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) skills followed by a single tailored booster telephone call 1-month later. Assessment of female sexual function and psychological distress was completed at baseline and 2 months post-intervention.

Results

Analyses examined changes pre- to post-intervention. Female sexual health improved significantly from baseline to follow-up (n = 19, p < 0.02). Anxiety was also significantly improved at the 2-month (p < 0.000) timepoint, compared with baseline 1. Moderate-to-large effect sizes were observed regarding changes in sexual function and psychological distress.

Conclusions

Significant improvements in sexual functioning and psychological distress were observed 2 months post-intervention.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

These results demonstrate that delivery of a targeted intervention in brief, low-intensity group setting is a promising model for reducing distressing sexual dysfunction in young BC survivors on OS treatment.

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