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Title: Sexual satisfaction and sexual distress after cancer: The role of body image disruption, self-compassion, sexual pain and relationship satisfaction.
Austin Authors: Michael, Sarah;Skaczkowski, Gemma ;Wilson, Carlene J 
Affiliation: La Trobe University, School of Psychology and Public Health, Melbourne, Australia
University of South Australia, Department of Rural Health, Allied Health and Human Performance, Adelaide, Australia
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2021
Date: 2021-06-22
Publication information: Psycho-Oncology 2021; 30(11): 1902-1909
Abstract: To identify variables that correlate with sexual satisfaction and sexual distress among adult cancer survivors, and how these differ, providing a basis from which approaches to intervention may be identified. This study examined four key variables: body image disruption, self-compassion, relationship satisfaction and sexual pain previously, all linked to sexual quality of life. A cross-sectional survey was conducted online, with participants (n = 113) recruited via cancer charities, support groups, and sexual counsellors' networks. A multivariate multiple regression analysis was conducted to analyse relationships among variables. In a regression adjusted for age and sex and time since diagnosis, higher sexual distress was significantly associated with higher body image disruption (β =0.23; p = .042), lower self-compassion (β = 0.29; p = .009), and higher sexual pain (β = 0.39; p < .001); but not relationship satisfaction (β =-0.08; p = .433). Higher sexual satisfaction was significantly associated with higher relationship satisfaction (β = 0.35; p = .002) and lower sexual pain (β = -0.29; p = .004), but not body image disruption (β = -0.19; p = .089), or self-compassion (β = 0.06; p = .614). Sexual pain had a significantly stronger association with sexual distress than sexual satisfaction; F (1, 87) = 18.29, p < .001. Sexual distress and sexual satisfaction are associated with different psycho-social correlates even though both are used as indicators of sexual health. Research should seek to further understand the differences in these two critical markers of sexual health, with these differences likely to highlight the need to match interventions to the nature of the sexual difficulties experienced following cancer treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1002/pon.5755
ORCID: 0000-0003-0715-3563
Journal: Psycho-Oncology
PubMed URL: 34157169
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Body image
Cancer survivors
Relationship satisfaction
Sexual Health
Sexual distress
Sexual pain
Sexual satisfaction
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