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20.04.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 10/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 10/2018

Sexual quality of life, body image distress, and psychosocial outcomes in colorectal cancer: a longitudinal study

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 10/2018
Autoren:
Jennifer Barsky Reese, Elizabeth Handorf, Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives were to assess changes in sexual QOL and body image distress over time and to examine longitudinal associations between sexual QOL and body image variables with psychosocial outcomes in a sample of colorectal cancer patients.

Methods

Participants (N = 141) completed a mail-based survey assessing sexual QOL [sexual distress (ISS), treatment impact on sexual function (SFQ), sexual function (FSFI; IIEF)], body image distress (BIS), and psychosocial outcomes [relationship quality (DAS-4), depressive symptoms (CESD-SF), and health-related QOL (HRQOL; FACT-C)]; 88 patients completed 6-month follow-up surveys (62%). Gender and cancer subgroups (male vs. female; rectal vs. colon cancer) were compared and longitudinal models examined associations between sexual QOL and body image variables with psychosocial outcomes over time and by subgroup.

Results

Impairments in sexual QOL and body image distress were common. Women and patients with rectal cancer reported worse body image distress compared to men (p = .005) and those with colon cancer (p = .03), respectively; compared to patients with colon cancer, those with rectal cancer reported worse treatment impact (p < .001) and marginally worse sexual function and HRQOL (p’s = .05). At 6-month follow-up, body image distress decreased (p = .02), while sexual QOL was stable (e.g., 58% classified as dysfunctional at both time points, p = .13). For most sexual and body image predictors, worse impairment was associated with worse psychosocial outcomes over time. Several significant gender and cancer subgroup effects were found.

Conclusions

Sexual QOL and body image are compromised after colorectal cancer and tend to remain impaired if unaddressed. Sexual concerns should be addressed early to limit broader-reaching psychosocial effects.

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