Sexual concerns in lung cancer patients: an examination of predictors and moderating effects of age and gender.
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.
Reese, JB; Shelby, RA; Abernethy, AP
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