Sexual concerns in lung cancer patients: an examination of predictors and moderating effects of age and gender.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: Sexual concerns are understudied and undertreated for patients with lung cancer. Objectives were to: (1) assess sexual concerns in lung cancer patients and examine differences by age and gender; (2) examine stability of sexual concerns over time; and (3) evaluate whether sexual concerns in lung cancer patients are significantly related to physical and emotional symptoms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected from lung cancer patients during four outpatient clinic visits over 6 months. Measures included sexual concerns (reduced sexual enjoyment, interest, or performance), fatigue (FACIT Fatigue Scale), shortness of breath, and emotional distress (acute distress, despair; Patient Care Monitor). Linear mixed model analyses were conducted. RESULTS: Sexual concerns were common, with 52% of patients reporting at least mild sexual concerns and were stable. Sexual concerns were significantly associated with physical and emotional symptoms; particularly strong relationships were found between sexual concerns and shortness of breath and emotional distress. Age moderated the relationship between both fatigue and shortness of breath and sexual concerns; gender moderated the relationship between emotional distress and sexual concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported sexual concerns are common in people with lung cancer, are stable, and are related significantly to physical and emotional symptoms; age and gender influence the distress associated with sexual symptoms in this population. Better attention to patient concerns, treatment, and more research are clearly needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reese, JB; Shelby, RA; Abernethy, AP

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 161 - 165

PubMed ID

  • 20820818

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20820818

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-010-1000-0


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany