Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 540–548 | Cite as

Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses

  • Marrit A. Tuinman
  • Joke Fleer
  • Dirk Th. Sleijfer
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
  • Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers
Original Article

Abstract

Goal

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Keywords

Cancer Testicular cancer Spouse Marital satisfaction Sexual satisfaction 

References

  1. 1.
    Arrindell WA, Boelens W, Lambert H (1983) On the psychometric properties of the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ): Evaluation of self-ratings in distresses and ‘normal’ volunteer couples based on the dutch version. Personality and individual differences 4(3):293–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 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. 3.
    Arrindell WA, Schaap C (1985) The Maudsley Marital Questionnaire (MMQ): an extension of its construct validity. Br J Psychiatry 147:295–299Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Christopher FS, Sprecher, S (2000) Sexuality in marriage, dating, and other relationships: a decade review. J Marriage Fam 62(4):999–1017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fegg MJ, Gerl A, Vollmer TC, Gruber U, Jost C, Meiler S, Hiddemann W (2003) Subjective quality of life and sexual functioning after germ-cell tumour therapy. Br J Cancer 89(12):2202–2206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 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. 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
  8. 8.
    Haavio-Mannila E, Kontula O (1997) Correlates of increased sexual satisfaction. Arch Sex Behav 26(4):399–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  14. 14.
    Jonker-Pool G, van de Wiel HB, Hoekstra HJ, Sleijfer DT, van Driel MF, van Basten JP, Schraffordt Koops HS (2001) Sexual functioning after treatment for testicular cancer--review and meta-analysis of 36 empirical studies between 1975–2000. Arch Sex Behav 30(1):55–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Karney BR, Bradbury TN (1995) The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: a review of theory, method and research. Psychol Bull 118(1):3–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 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
  17. 17.
    Kuijer RG, Buunk BP, Ybema JF, Wobbes T (2002) the relation between perceived inequity, marital satisfaction and emotions among couples facing cancer. Br J Soc Psychol 41:39–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Manne S (1998) Cancer in the marital context: a review of the literature. Cancer Invest 16(3):188–202Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Middel LJ (2001) Assessment of change in clinical evaluation (thesis). University Groningen, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nazareth I, Lewin J, King M (2001) Sexual dysfunction after treatment for testicular cancer: a systematic review. J Psychosom Research 51(6):735–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pitceathly C, Maguire P (2003) The psychological impact of cancer on patients’ partners and other key relatives: a review. Eur J Cancer 39(11):1517–1524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schover LR, von Eschenbach AC (1985) Sexual and marital relationships after treatment for nonseminomatous testicular cancer. Urology 25(3):251–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Schover LR, Gonzales M, von Eschenbach AC (1986) Sexual and marital relationships after radiotherapy for seminoma. Urology 27(2):117–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 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
  25. 25.
    Shelley MD, Burgon K, Mason MD (2002) Treatment of testicular germ-cell cancer: a Cochrane evidence-based systematic review. Cancer Treat Rev 28:237–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 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. 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
  28. 28.
    Verhaak CM, Smeenk JMJ, Eugster A, van Minnen A, Kremer JAM, Kraaimaat FW (2001) Stress and material satisfaction among women before and after their first cycle of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril 76(3):525–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marrit A. Tuinman
    • 1
  • Joke Fleer
    • 1
  • Dirk Th. Sleijfer
    • 2
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
    • 1
  • Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Health PsychologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Comprehensive Cancer Centre Northern NetherlandsGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations