Background: Women who complete breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy may experience sexual disturbances that extend beyond the acute phase of treatment. There is a relative dearth of studies examining different aspects of the sexual life and the related factors among breast cancer survivors. Purpose: This study assesses sexual life and the factors related to different aspects of the sexual life of breast cancer survivors. Method: A cross-sectional correlation design was used. A total of 136 women who had completed aggressive treatment and who had not experienced recurrence were recruited from a hospital cancer registry in south of Taiwan. After agreeing to participate and signing informed consent, the participants were given questionnaires that included demographic and treatment-related information, an evaluation of their physical appearance, and relationship and sexuality scales that addressed topics including sexual difficulties, sexual performance, sexual intimacy, and sexual self-esteem aspects. The data were analyzed using multiple regressions in order to understand the factors related to their sexual life and examine the significant predictors of sexual life in breast cancer survivors. Results: Among the 136 women who participated in this study, 16.1% reported they had not yet recovered their pre-diagnosis sexual life. Of those who had, all experienced some type of sexual disturbance. Treatmentrelated factors had limited effects on the sexual life of the women, and the factors related to different aspects of their sexual life varied. The significant predictors of overall sexual life included age, breast satisfaction when naked, and sexual satisfaction prior to diagnosis. However, partner’s satisfaction was not an important factor influencing women’s sexual life. Conclusions / Implications for Practice: The findings of this study suggest that age, fear of recurrence, and breast satisfaction when naked, and sexual satisfaction before diagnosis are variables that significantly influence the sexual life of breast cancer survivors. In order to improve the sexual life and intimate relationships of women with breast cancer, health care professionals should focus greater attention on the sexual problems of older women, help survivors decrease their fear of cancer recurrence and improve their self-identify about their post-surgery bodies, and provide survivors with information about relieving discomfort during sexual activity.
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