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Article

The Relationship Between 
Body Mass Index and Sexual Function in Endometrial Cancer


Rubi M. Garcia
Alexandra Hanlon
William Small Jr.
Jonathan B. Strauss
Lillie Lin
Jessica Wells
Deborah W. Bruner
ONF 2018, 45(1), 25-32 DOI: 10.1188/18.ONF.25-32

Objectives: To explore the association between pretreatment body mass index (BMI) and post-treatment sexual function in women treated for endometrial cancer. 


Sample & Setting: 28 postmenopausal women treated with vaginal brachytherapy (VBT) took part in this multisite exploratory secondary analysis at the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University. 


Methods & Variables: Secondary data analysis was used to determine if pretreatment BMI is associated with post-VBT sexual function in postmenopausal women treated for endometrial cancer at baseline and at six months post-treatment. Because of small sample size, participants were dichotomized according to enrollment BMI: 30 or greater (obese) and less than 30 (non-obese). The Female Sexual Function Index was used to assess sexual function, with total scores of 26.55 or less indicating sexual dysfunction.


Results: Both groups had poor sexual function at baseline. Although improved function was observed with time, neither group reached a score indicating healthy sexual function.


Implications for Nursing: Understanding factors that influence sexual health in patients with gynecologic cancer can improve post-treatment quality of life. 


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