How to evaluate sexual health in cancer patients: Development of the EORTC sexual health questionnaire for cancer patients

E. Nagele, B.L. den Oudsten, E. Greimel, EORTC Quality of Life Group

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The aim of the study is to describe the development of a comprehensive European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) questionnaire to assess sexual health of female and male cancer patients and for cancer survivors.
According to the EORTC guidelines, the development of an EORTC sexual health questionnaire is typically organised in four phases. The first phases comprise a literature search following interviews with patient and health care professionals (HCPs) (phase 1) and the operationalization into items (phase 2). The translation process is formally conducted according to the EORTC QLG Translation guidelines with a rigorous forward-backward procedure supported by native speakers.
Studies on sexuality in oncology patients which were identified by a literature search predominantly focused on issues of activity, experiences of sexual dysfunction, and satisfaction with sexual functioning. The literature review identified themes beyond these aspects. In total 53 potentially relevant issues were presented to 107 patients and 83 HCPs, different evaluations were found.
A questionnaire that includes physical, psychological, and social aspects of sexuality of cancer survivors will be needed. Pre-testing and validation of the questionnaire will be done in future (phases 3 and 4). Divergent ratings of patients and professionals should be further investigated.
Keywords: Cancer; sexual health; European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) sexual health questionnaire
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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