, Volume 141, Issue 2, pp 173-185,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 08 Sep 2013

Screening for sexual dysfunction in women diagnosed with breast cancer: systematic review and recommendations

Abstract

Breast cancer patients are at increased risk of sexual dysfunction. Despite this, both patients and practitioners are reluctant to initiate a conversation about sexuality. A sexual dysfunction screening tool would be helpful in clinical practice and research, however, no scale has yet been identified as a “gold standard” for this purpose. The present review aimed at evaluating the scales used in breast cancer research in respect to their psychometric properties and the extent to which they measure the DSM-5/ICD-10 aspects of sexual dysfunction. A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted for the period 1992–2013, yielding 129 studies using 30 different scales measuring sexual functioning, that were evaluated in the present review. Three scales (Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, Female Sexual Functioning Index, and Sexual Problems Scale) were identified as most closely meeting criteria for acceptable psychometric properties and incorporation of the DSM-5/ICD-10 areas of sexual dysfunction. Clinical implications for implementation of these measures are discussed as well as directions for further research.