Sexual Health and Quality of Life Assessment among Ovarian Cancer Patients during Chemotherapy

Lavinia Domenici, Innocenza Palaia, Margherita Giorgini, Valerio Piacentino Piscitelli, Federica Tomao, Claudia Marchetti, Violante Di Donato, Giorgia Perniola, Angela Musella, Marco Monti, Ludovico Muzii, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the last decades many successful efforts have been made in order to increase life expectancy in ovarian cancer (OC) patients. However, just a few studies have investigated the impact of OC on quality of life (QoL) and sexual function in OC cases during treatment. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the QoL and sexual function of OC patients during chemotherapy (CT). Patients and Methods: Forty-nine subjects were enrolled and filled in the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-OV28, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS) questionnaires. The results were evaluated globally and consequently stratified into several groups: single surgery versus multiple surgeries, age ≤48 years versus >48 years, and first-line CT versus multiple lines of CT. Results: Menopause-related symptoms, body image and attitude toward the disease were significantly worse during first-line CT (p = 0.018, p = 0.029 and p = 0.006, respectively). Sexual outcomes resulted in better scores in younger patients in all questionnaires (FSFI: p = 0.001; FSDS: p = 0.048; specific EORTC QLQ-OV28 items: p = 0.022). Scores concerning body image, attitude toward the disease and CT-associated symptoms resulted worse in patients after the first surgery (p = 0.017, p = 0.002 and p = 0.012, respectively). Conclusion: Our study confirms that OC has a detrimental impact on QoL and intimacy, particularly in younger patients, during the first course of CT and after the first cytoreductive surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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