Measuring psychosexual functioning in cancer patients: Psychometric properties and normative data of a new questionnaire

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Existing research regarding sexual functioning of cancer patients indicates that as a result of chemotherapy and radiation therapy many patients experience difficulties in their sexual life, such as altered body image, infertility, lack of sexual desire and excitement, pain, fatigue, anxiety or depression. Data regarding aspects of psychosexual functioning have been derived either through unvalidated questionnaires, without data from healthy adults for meaningful comparisons, or from validated instruments not specifically designed for cancer patients. Thus, there was a need for a new, short validated instrument measuring psychosexual functioning in cancer patients. An item pool was generated and subsequently tested with healthy adults and a mixed cancer patient sample. Interviews, a hypothesis-testing approach, and methods to test convergent and contrasted-groups validity were used to ascertain the validity of the questionnaire. Reliability of the scale was found to be satisfactory in both the healthy subjects and the mixed cancer patients' sample. Validity of the instrument was also supported. Data from the healthy group and the mixed-diagnosis cancer patients are presented. One-third of the cancer patients reported sexual dysfunction. The instrument is a quick measure of psychosexual functioning in cancer patients. It provides information about sexual satisfaction, sexual interest, altered body image, psychological and physical symptoms, and impotence-related difficulties. Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-205
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer patients
  • Instrument development
  • Psychosexual functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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