Self-Reported Sexual Function Measures Administered to Female Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review, 2008-2014

Diana D. Jeffery, Lisa Barbera, Barbara L. Andersen, Amy K. Siston, Anuja Jhingran, Shirley R. Baron, Jennifer Barsky Reese, Deborah J. Coady, Jeanne Carter, Kathryn E. Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A systematic review was conducted to identify and characterize self-reported sexual function (SF) measures administered to women with a history of cancer. Using 2009 PRISMA guidelines, we searched electronic bibliographic databases for quantitative studies published January 2008-September 2014 that used a self-reported measure of SF, or a quality of life (QOL) measure that contained at least 1 item pertaining to SF. Of 1,487 articles initially identified, 171 were retained. The studies originated in 36 different countries with 23% from US-based authors. Most studies focused on women treated for breast, gynecologic, or colorectal cancer. About 70% of the articles examined SF as the primary focus; the remaining examined QOL, menopausal symptoms, or compared treatment modalities. We identified 37 measures that assessed at least one domain of SF, eight of which were dedicated SF measures developed with cancer patients. Almost one third of the studies used EORTC QLQ modules to assess SF, and another third used the Female Sexual Function Inventory. There were few commonalities among studies, though nearly all demonstrated worse SF after cancer treatment or compared to healthy controls. QOL measures are better suited to screening while dedicated SF questionnaires provide data for more in depth assessment. This systematic review will assist oncology clinicians and researchers in their selection of measures of SF and encourage integration of this quality of life domain in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-466
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015


  • cancer
  • females
  • psychosocial
  • quality of life
  • sexual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Self-Reported Sexual Function Measures Administered to Female Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review, 2008-2014'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this