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Psychosocial Evaluation

A prospective study of the effects of high-dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation on sexual function in the first year after transplant

Abstract

Patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation (BMT) may experience a variety of abnormalities of psychological and physical function including sexual dysfunction. However, no study has prospectively evaluated whether there is an association between sexual dysfunction and BMT. In a previous study in which we analyzed the sexual function of 30 patients immediately before transplant, we found that nearly half of all patients had sexual dysfunction using the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning for males and females. The findings of the pilot study led us to hypothesize that the incidence of sexual dysfunction would not be significantly altered by BMT; we performed a prospective study designed to test this hypothesis. In this study a further 20 patients about to undergo BMT were surveyed, making a total of 50. Thirty-one of 38 survivors were reanalyzed 3–6 months after transplant. The major finding of the study is that the incidence of sexual dysfunction is unchanged 3 months after transplant (48 vs 36%, P = NS). The mean total score on the DISF was decreased by 7.5 points but this was also not significant. A preliminary analysis of 16 patients surveyed at 12 months post-BMT suggests little change in sexual function between 3 and 12 months post-BMT. We conclude that in the first 12 months after high-dose chemotherapy and BMT the pretreatment difficulties remain.

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Marks, D., Friedman, S., Carpini, L. et al. A prospective study of the effects of high-dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation on sexual function in the first year after transplant. Bone Marrow Transplant 19, 819–822 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1700750

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1700750

Keywords

  • sexual function
  • sexual satisfaction
  • BMT
  • high-dose chemotherapy

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