Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2499–2507 | Cite as

Menopausal symptoms, sexual function, depression, and quality of life in Korean patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy

  • Hyojung ParkEmail author
  • Hyeon Gyeong Yoon
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to study the relationships among menopausal symptoms, sexual function, depression, and quality of life in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.


Two hundred women participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected with the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—Breast Cancer (FACT-B). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests, ANOVA, Scheffe’s test, and Pearson product moment correlations using SPSS v. 20.


Participants had alterations in menopausal symptoms and sexual function, and were depressed with a decreased quality of life. These factors are known to influence satisfaction with family support (p < 0.05) and sexual relationships (p < 0.05).


Nurses should provide education to women with breast cancer on their sexual issues and encourage them to attend family support programs. They should also encourage family members to be proactive in addressing menopausal and depressive symptoms in these women with a goal to enhance their sexual functioning and quality of life.


Breast cancer Menopausal symptoms Sexual function Depression Quality of life Nursing 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have full control of all primary data, and they agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.


  1. 1.
    National Cancer Information Center (2008) National cancer information, Accessed 10 January 2012
  2. 2.
    National Cancer Information Center (2009) National cancer information. Accessed 25 January 2012
  3. 3.
    Brem S, Kumar NB (2011) Management of treatment-related symptoms in patients with breast cancer: current strategies and future directions. Clin J Oncol Nurs 15(1):63–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Epplein M, Zheng Y, Zheng W et al (2011) Quality of life after breast cancer diagnosis and survival. J Clin Oncol 29(4):406–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Choi BJ, Park JH, Choe BM, Han SH, Kin SH (2011) Factors influencing anxiety and depression in patients with breast cancer treated with surgery. J Korean Soc Bio Ther Psychiatry 17(1):87–95Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Partridge A, Gelber S, Gelber RD et al (2007) Age of menopause among women who remain premenopausal following treatment for early breast cancer: long term results from international breast cancer study group trials V and VI. Eur J Cancer 43:1646–1653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chang SB, Lee KH, Chung CW (2008) Factors of occurrence of amenorrhea and climacteric symptoms in patients with breast cancer underwent chemotherapy. Korean J Women Health Nurs 14(3):189–195Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bauld R, Brown RF (2009) Stress, psychological distress, psychosocial factors, menopause symptoms and physical health in women. Maturitas 62(2):160–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    The Korean Society Menopause (2011) Hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. J Korean Soc Menopause 17(3):125–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Deecher DC, Dorries K (2007) Understanding the pathophysiology of vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes and night sweats) that occur in perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause life stages. Arch Womens Ment Health 10(6):247–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dizon DS (2009) Quality of life after breast cancer: survivalship and sexuality. Breast J 15(5):500–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Manganiello A, Hoga LAK, Reberte LM et al (2011) Sexuality and quality of life of patients with breast cancer post mastectomy. Eur J Oncol Nurs 15(2):165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Saevarsdottir T, Fridriksdottir N, Gunnarsdottir S (2010) Quality of life and symptoms of anxiety and depression of patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Cancer Nurs 33(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kim HY, So HS, Chae MJ (2009) Sexual function of breast cancer survivors and healthy women: a comparative study. J Korean Oncol Nurs 9(1):60–66Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Breen SJ, Baravelli CM, Schofield PE et al (2009) Is symptom burden a predictor of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer about to commence chemotherapy? Med J Aust 190(7):99–104Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gwede CK, Small BJ, Munster PN, Andrykowski MA, Jacobsen PB (2008) Exploring the differential experience of breast cancer treatment related symptoms: a cluster analytic approach. Support Care Cancer 16:925–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Knobf MT (2008) “Coming to grips” with chemotherapy-induced premature menopause. Health Care Women Int 29(4):384–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    So WKW, Marsh G, Ling WM et al (2010) Anxiety, depression and quality of life among Chinese patients with breast cancer during adjuvant therapy. Eur J Oncol Nurs 14(1):17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gupta P, Sturdee DW, Palin SL et al (2006) Menopausal symptoms in women treated for breast cancer: the prevalence and severity of symptoms and their perceived effects on quality of life. Climacteric 9(1):49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Winnie KW, Marsh G, Ling WM et al (2009) The symptom cluster of fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression and the effect on the quality of life of women receiving treatment for breast cancer: a multicenter study. Oncol Nurs Forum 36(4):205–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    World Health Organization (2009) Pharmacological treatment of mental disorders in primary health care. Author, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reyno LM, Levine MN, Skingley P et al (1993) Chemotherapy induced amenorrhea in a randomised trial of adjuvant chemotherapy duration in breast cancer. Eur J Cancer 29A:21–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Heinemann LAJ, Potthoff P, Schneider HPG (2003) International versions of the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). Health Qual Life Outcomes 1(1):28–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rosen R, Brown C, Heiman J et al (2000) The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI): a multidimensional self-reported instrument for the assessment of female sexual function. J Sex Marital Ther 26(2):191–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim H, So H, Park K et al (2002) Development of the Korean-version of Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Kor J Androl 20(1):50–56Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Beck AT, Steer RA, Ball R, Ranieri WF (1996) Comparison of the Beck Depression Inventories-I A and II in psychiatric outpatients. J Pers Assess 67:588–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sung HM, Kim JB, Park YN et al (2008) A study on the reliability and the validity of Korean version of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). J Korean Soc Ther Psychiatry 14(2):201–212Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Brady MJ, Cella DF, Mo F et al (1997) Reliability and validity of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—Breast quality of life instrument. J Clin Oncol 15:974–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wiegel M, Meston C, Rosen R (2005) The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI): cross-validation and development of clinical cutoff scores. J Sex Marital Ther 31(1):1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Song SH, Jeon H, Kim SW, Paick JS, Son H (2008) The prevalence and risk factors of female sexual dysfunction in young Korean women: an internet-based survey. J Sex Med 5:1694–1701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Heinemann K, Ruebig A, Potthoff P et al (2004) The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) scale: a methodological review. Health Qual Life Outcomes 45(2):1–8Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cheon SS, Chio SY (2010) A study on the relationship among family support, stress and quality of life on according to the phases of illness in patients with breast cancer. Korean J Women Health Nurs 16(1):9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Fobair P, Spegel D (2009) Concerns about sexuality after breast cancer. Cancer 15(1):19–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Shell JA, Carolan M, Zhang Y, Meneses KD (2008) The longitudinal effects of cancer treatment on sexuality in individuals with lung cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum 35(1):73–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kim HY, So HS, Chae MJ, Kim KM (2008) Comparisons of quality of life, sexual function, and depression in sexually active or inactive groups of women with mastectomy. J Korean Oncol Nurs 8(2):77–85Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kim KH, Kwon HJ, Choi MH, Kim JA, Kim KS (2009) The relationship of sexual satisfaction and daily stress in the patients with breast cancer. J Korean Adult Nurs 21:529–537Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hoga LAK, Mello DS, Dias AF (2008) Psychosocial perspectives of the partners of patients with breast cancer treated with a mastectomy: an analysis of personal narratives. Cancer Nurs 31(4):318–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Chun N (2010) Predictors of sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain in women with gynecologic cancer. J Korean Acad Nurs 40(1):24–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rabin EG, Heldt E, Hirakata VN et al (2009) Depression and perceptions of quality of life of breast cancer survivors and their male partners. Oncol Nurs Forum 36(3):153–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tae YS, Kim MY (2011) Relationships between family support, perceived health status, and self-esteem in Korean women breast cancer. J Korean Onco Nurs 11(1):41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Nho JH, Park YS (2012) Descriptive study on sexuality for women with gynecological cancer. Korean J Women Health Nurs 18(1):17–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Park JH, Jun EH, Kang MY, Joung YS, Kim GS (2009) Symptom experience and quality of life in breast cancer survivors. J Korean Acad Nurs 39(5):613–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Beckjord E, Campas BE (2007) Sexual quality of life in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. J Psychosoc Oncol 25(2):19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Can G, Oskay U, Durna Z et al (2008) Evaluation of sexual function of Turkish women with breast cancer receiving systemic treatment. Oncol Nurs Forum 35:471–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Huang CY, Guo SE, Huang CM et al (2010) Learned resourcefulness, quality of life, and depressive symptoms for patients with breast cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum 37(4):E280–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Munro BH (2005) Statistical methods for health care research, 4th edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Karakoyun-Celik O, Gorken I, Sahin S et al (2010) Depression and anxiety levels in women under follow-up for breast cancer: relationship to coping with cancer and quality of life. Med Oncol 27(1):108–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Arving C, Sjode’n P, Bergh J et al (2007) Individual psychosocial support for breast cancer patients: a randomized study of nurse versus psychologist interventions and standard care. Cancer Nurs 39(3):E10–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Nursing Science, College of Health SciencesEwha Womans UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations