The effects of psychosexual counseling on sexual quality of life and function in Iranian breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial

  • Shakiba Fatehi
  • Raziyeh Maasoumi
  • Giti Atashsokhan
  • Azam Hamidzadeh
  • Ghasem Janbabaei
  • Seyed Mohammad MirrezaieEmail author
Clinical trial



Considering different dimensions of life, special sex life for survivors of breast cancer (BC) is important because their life expectancy has increased.


We designed this study to improve the sexual function, satisfaction and quality of sexual life.


In a randomized controlled clinical trial study, from a total 286 breast cancer survivors (BCS), 118 women enrolled to the study. After providing informed consent, the participants were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or to the waitlist control group. The intervention consisted of six weekly psychosexual counseling sessions that lasted from 90 to 120 min. Data were collected by the demographic and clinical forms, Beck Depression Inventory, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Larson Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire and sexual quality of life-female (SQOL-F) questionnaire.


Mean age of patients in control and intervention groups were 43.8 ± 6.6 and 44.84 ± 6.7, respectively. More than 65% of the patients in the both groups were either normal or showed a low level of depression. Sexual function (FSFI) scores and sexual quality of life (SQOL-F), showed a significant statistic differences after intervention (P < 0.001 in both tools). Sexual satisfaction (Larson) has showed improvement in some subclasses, however, change in total score was not statistically significant (P = 0.073).


The psychosexual intervention program was effective in improving sexual function and quality of sexual life among BCS. This intervention has clinical significance as it provided an opportunity for the women to discuss their sexual issues.


Breast cancer Sexual quality of life Psychosexual counseling Iran 



The assistance of the research deputy of Shahrood University, the staff in Imam Khomeini hospital and Tooba clinic is greatly appreciated. We also thank the patients who participated in our sessions with patience.


This work was supported by Shahroud University of Medical Sciences and granted approval by Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. This study was supported by Grant no. 940167 from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences and granted approval by Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No authors on this manuscript declare a conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study approved by ethics committee of the Shahroud University of Medical Sciences and received an ethics code (IR.SHMU.REC.1394.115).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing and MidwiferyShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  2. 2.Departments of Midwifery, Health Research InstituteBabol University of Medical SciencesBabolIran
  3. 3.Department of Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and MidwiferyTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Nursing and Midwifery Care Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Gastrointestinal Cancer Research CenterMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  6. 6.Center for Health Related Social and Behavioral Sciences Research ShahroudUniversity of Medical SciencesShahroudIran

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