Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses
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- Tuinman, M.A., Fleer, J., Sleijfer, D.T. et al. Support Care Cancer (2005) 13: 540. doi:10.1007/s00520-004-0758-3
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To compare marital and sexual satisfaction of men who survived testicular cancer (TC) and their spouses to a reference group, and to compare marital and sexual satisfaction of couples who had a relationship at time of diagnosis (couples during TC) to couples who developed a relationship after completion of treatment (couples after TC).
Patients and methods
Two hundred and nineteen couples during TC and 40 couples after TC completed the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire, a validated instrument to measure marital and sexual satisfaction.
Survivors and spouses of both couple groups reported similar marital satisfaction as men and women of the reference group. Survivors (t=2.9, p<0.01) and spouses (t=2.9, p<0.01) of couples during TC and survivors of couples after TC (t=1.9, p=0.05) reported less sexual satisfaction than the reference groups. Survivors of couples after TC reported less sexual satisfaction than survivors of couples during TC (F=4.0, p<0.05). Correlations between sexual satisfaction of survivors and spouses in couples during TC (r=0.76, p<0.001) and couples after TC (r=0.77, p<0.001) were high.
Testicular cancer did not appear to have a negative effect on marital satisfaction in couples during TC, although TC survivors and their spouses reported less sexual satisfaction than men and women of the reference group. Survivors who developed a relationship after completion of treatment seemed to form a vulnerable group: their sexual satisfaction was lower than that of men in the reference group and of TC survivors with a longer relationship. Besides that, they more often reported marital problems than their spouses did.