Factors affecting sexual function and sexual satisfaction among females with or without rectal cancer or gynecological cancer

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2011-12

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Li, Chia-Chun

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Abstract

This descriptive, comparative, correlational study explored the relationships among demographic characteristics, health histories, disease characteristics, body image, anxiety and depression, sexual relationship power, female sexual function, and sexual satisfaction; examined sexual self-schema as a moderator or mediator on female sexual function and sexual satisfaction; and compared the differences in female sexual function and sexual satisfaction between women with gynecological or rectal cancer and women without any cancer. Fifty-five females with gynecological or rectal cancer in the study group and 72 females without any cancer in the comparison group completed seven structured questionnaires. For females in the study group, a significant negative relationship existed between time since surgery and anxiety and depression, between the number of cancer treatments and female sexual function, and between performance status and anxiety and depression. In addition, a significant positive relationship existed between performance status and sexual relationship power and between the number of cancer treatments and sexual satisfaction. Further, body image was significantly related to anxiety and depression, sexual relationship power, sexual self-schema, and sexual satisfaction. The anxiety and depression factor was significantly linked with sexual relationship power, female sexual function, and sexual satisfaction. There was a significant negative relationship between sexual satisfaction and sexual relationship power and between sexual satisfaction and female sexual function. Also, females in the study group reported significantly worse sexual function and sexual satisfaction than females in the comparison group. A hierarchical multiple regression model accounted for 40% of the variance in female sexual function, and gynecological/rectal cancer, body image, and the interaction between sexual relationship power and sexual self-schema were three significant predictors. After controlling for gynecological/rectal cancer, body image, sexual relationship power, sexual self-schema, and the interaction term between sexual relationship power and sexual self-schema, female sexual function accounted for 17% of the variance in sexual satisfaction. In unsolicited comments, females in the study group described the changes in their sexual lives after surgery and treatments, emphasizing that sexual information should be provided promptly and effectively by health care providers. The study findings led to implications and recommendations for the conceptual framework, nursing practice, research, and education.

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