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Sexual Function Measurement And Outcomes In Cancer Survivors And Matched Controls

Karen Syrjala, Thomas C. Schroeder, Janet R. Abrams, Tamara Z. Atkins, Wendy S. Brown, Jean E. Sanders, Mary Schubert, Julia R. Heiman
Published 2000 · Psychology
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Depending on diagnosis, gender, and treatment, as few as 10% or as many as 90% of cancer survivors have reported sexual problems. Inconsistencies and inadequacies in measurement have confounded efforts to fully understand and treat these difficulties. A Sexual Function Questionnaire (SFQ) was developed and administered to 400 cancer survivors or matched, noncancer controls. Participants were sexually active or inactive, male or female, heterosexual or homosexual. Nine subscales and two summary scores had internal reliabilities above .80, with factor loadings above .50 for all items. Test‐retest reliability, as well as content, construct, criterion, discriminant, and confirmatory validity supported the measure's psychometric strength. Cancer survivors indicated poorer function than controls, with postmenopausal women reporting the poorest sexual function. Survivors’ sexual function dropped significantly posttreatment compared to pretreatment. The SFQ provided a valid, reliable outcome measure for use in cancer research or with other medical groups and physically healthy subjects.
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