Cancer Control Research5R03CA124250-02
Revenson, Tracey A.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW: MEASURES OF SEXUAL QUALITY OF LIFE FOR FEMALE CANCER SURVIVORS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is a 1 in 3 chance that a woman will develop cancer in her lifetime. As survival rates continue to rise, growing numbers of women are living with cancer. In response, clinical researchers have focused on quality of life issues for cancer survivors, such as sexual quality of life (SQoL). Sexuality and intimacy have been shown to play important roles in long-term survivorship. However, there is growing concern that the construct of SQoL has not been adequately measured for female cancer survivors, including female sexual response, fertility, and menopausal status. The proposed project aims to address key questions regarding the conceptualization and measurement of SQoL for female cancer survivors using systematic review techniques. The specific aims are: (1) To review how the domain of female SQoL varies by cancer site, stage of survivorship, life stage, and the presence of a partner/spouse; (2) To assess the quality of the research on female SQoL; (3) To describe how SQoL has been measured for female cancer survivors by reviewing and identifying item gaps in existing self-report assessment tools; (4) To identify cancer-specific and gender-specific concerns that researchers and physicians need to be informed about concerning women's sexual quality of life. Using the principles of systematic literature review, we will undertake a thorough search of the published and unpublished literature. SQoL is broadly defined to include sexual function and dysfunction, sexual satisfaction, and sexual health. Each eligible study in the sample will be coded with respect to a number of features, such as the setting of the study, participants, methodology, and study quality. Coding procedures will be rigorously developed to maintain validity and reliability. We will also systematically analyze approximately 75 assessment tools on the item, subscale, and scale levels to document item gaps, i.e., a significant oversight in content. Our analysis will include, but go beyond, traditional psychometric assessments of reliability and validity. Using a systematic coding system that we have developed and piloted, we will code item content in order to evaluate how the domain of SQoL has been addressed. The findings will provide a clear summary of the strengths and weaknesses of available measures and items used to assess SQoL among female cancer survivors.