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Explanatory factors for sexual difficulties in sexual minority breast cancer survivors

Explanatory factors for sexual difficulties in sexual minority breast cancer survivors

Using convenience sampling, we conducted a case-control study to compare sexual minority breast cancer survivors to SMW without a cancer history.  83 sexual minority breast cancer survivors who had completed active treatment and 83 age and partner-status matched controls participated in an anonymous survey.  Sexual function was measured using the Female Sexual Function Index.

As explanatory factors, we considered demographic and partnership characteristics; menopausal status and symptoms; body image; emotional wellbeing and quality of life.Survivors felt less sexually attractive, were more likely to be in menopause and had more menopausal symptoms than non-survivors. Explanatory factors of sexual function did not differ for survivors compared to non-survivors: 44% of the variance in sexual function of women in both groups was explained by perceived sexual attractiveness, menopausal status and urogenital menopausal symptoms.

We found few differences between sexual minority breast cancer survivors compared to age and partner-status matched healthy controls. The same explanatory factors explain sexual functioning in both groups. These results diverge from reported findings on heterosexual survivors, in whom sexual functioning is also impacted by having a partner and specific partnership characteristics.

Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2009

WAS 2009

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