Sexuality after treatment of head and neck cancer: Findings based on modification of sexual adjustment questionnaire

Authors

  • Kattia F. Moreno MD,

    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Eyad Khabbaz MD,

    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Krishnanath Gaitonde MD,

    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Jareen Meinzen-Derr PhD,

    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
    2. Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Keith M. Wilson MD,

    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Yash J. Patil MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
    • Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, ML 0528, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH, 45267-0528
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  • The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

Evaluate sexual dysfunction in patients after treatment for head and neck cancer.

Study Design:

Single-institution cross-sectional study.

Methods:

Our modified Sexual Adjustment Questionnaire was administered to 42 patients (mean age, 55.1 years) and included seven questions (total score, 7–35). Based on sexual satisfaction ratings, we categorized three groups as unsatisfied (7–16), satisfied (17–25), and very satisfied (26–35). Clinical information was obtained by reviewing medical records. Bivariate analysis tested associations between sexual satisfaction and patient-related factors (e.g., sex, age, site/cancer stage, treatment, time between treatment and survey, partner, alcohol/tobacco consumption). Pearson correlation was used to analyze two continuous variables, and multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the independent impact of each factor.

Results:

All 42 patients rated that head and neck cancer negatively impacted their sexual relationships, including 21 (50%) rating effects as negative or extremely negative. Men reported higher satisfaction scores with sexual function (mean ± standard deviation) than women (19.9 ± 5.0 vs. 16.3 ± 6.5, respectively; P = .06). Respondents with partners reported higher scores than those without partners (19.9 ± 5.3 vs. 14.1 ± 4.4, respectively; P = .01). When the survey was administered (median, 12 months; range, 4–33 months) after the first treatment, mean score was 19; 57% of respondents were sexually satisfied, 31% were unsatisfied, and 12% were very satisfied. Instrument reliability was .82 (Cronbach alpha).

Conclusions:

Patients who are male and ≤60 years have a higher probability of sexual satisfaction during recovery. Our sexual dysfunction questionnaire will be administered in further prospective studies in patients with head and neck cancer. Laryngoscope, 2012

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