Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses
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.
KeywordsCancer Testicular cancer Spouse Marital satisfaction Sexual satisfaction
- 2.Arrindell WA, Emmelkamp PMG, Bast S (1983) The Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ): a further step towards its validation. Personality and individual differences 4(5):457–464Google Scholar
- 3.Arrindell WA, Schaap C (1985) The Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ): an extension of its construct validity. Br J Psychiatry 147:295–299Google Scholar
- 6.Gritz ER, Wellisch DK, Siau J, Wang HJ (1990) Long-term effects of testicular cancer on marital relationships. Psychosomatics 31(3):301–312Google Scholar
- 7.Gritz ER, Wellisch DK, Wang HJ, Siau J, Landsverk JA, Cosgrove MD (1989) Long-term effects of testicular cancer on sexual functioning in married couples. Cancer 64(7):1560–1567Google Scholar
- 9.Hagedoorn M, Buunk BP, Kuijer RG, Wobbes T, Sanderman R (2000) Couples dealing with cancer: role and gender differences regarding psychological distress and quality of life. Psychooncology. 9(3):232–242Google Scholar
- 10.Hannah MT, Gritz ER, Wellisch DK, Fobair P, Hoppe RT, Bloom JR, Sun G, Varghese A, Cosgrove MD, Spiegel D (1992) Changes in marital and sexual functioning in long-term survivors and their spouses: testicular cancer versus Hodgkin’s disease. Psychooncology 1:89–103Google Scholar
- 11.Hendriks AAJ, Sanderman R, Ormel J (1991) Value of the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ) as a measure for quality of the partner relationship: a multitrait-multimethod and confirmatory factor analysis (in Dutch). Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie 46:187–195Google Scholar
- 12.Hoekstra-Weebers JEHM, Jaspers JPC, Kamps WA, Klip EC (1998) Marital dissatisfaction, psychological distress, and the coping of parents of pediatric cancer patients. J Marriage Fam 60(4):1012–1021Google Scholar
- 13.Jonker-Pool G, Hoekstra HJ, van Imhoff GW, Sonneveld EJA, Sleijfer DT, van Driel MF, Schraffordt Koops HS, van de Wiel HBM (2004) Male sexuality after cancer treatment—needs for information and support: testicular cancer compared to malignant lymphoma. Patient Educ Couns 52(2):143–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Keller M, Henrich G, Sellschopp A, Beutel M (1996) Between distress and support: spouses of cancer patients. In: Baider L, Cooper CL, Kaplan De-Nour A (eds) Cancer and the family. Wiley pp.187–223Google Scholar
- 18.Manne S (1998) Cancer in the marital context: a review of the literature. Cancer Invest 16(3):188–202Google Scholar
- 19.Middel LJ (2001) Assessment of change in clinical evaluation (thesis). University Groningen, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- 24.Schumm WR, Webb FJ, Bollman SR (1998) Gender and marital satisfaction: data from the National Survey of Families and Households. Psychol Rep 83(1):319–327Google Scholar
- 26.Van Basten JP, Hoekstra HJ, van Driel MF, Schraffordt Koops HS, Droste JHJ, Jonker-Pool G, van de Wiel HB, Sleijfer DT (1997) Sexual dysfunction in nonseminoma testicular cancer patients is related to chemotherapy-induced angiopathy. J Clin Oncol 15(6):2442–2448Google Scholar
- 27.Van Basten JP, Jonker-Pool G, van Driel MF, Sleijfer DT, Droste JHJ, van de Wiel HB, Schraffordt Koops HS, Molenaar WM, Hoekstra HJ (1997) Sexual functioning after multimodality treatment for disseminated nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumour. J Urol 158(4):1411–1416Google Scholar