Annals of Hematology

, Volume 96, Issue 5, pp 739–747 | Cite as

Sexual problems in male vs. female non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors: prevalence, correlates, and associations with health-related quality of life

  • Im-Ryung Kim
  • Soo Hyun Kim
  • Oh Nam Ok
  • So Hee Kim
  • Suyeon Lee
  • Eunju Choi
  • Seok Jin Kim
  • Dok Hyun Yoon
  • Moon Hee Lee
Original Article


The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and factors associated with sexual problems and their relationship to health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in male and female non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) survivors. In this cross-sectional study, 738 NHL survivors (425 men and 313 women; mean time since diagnosis, 6.2 years) in South Korea completed the six-item instrument of adult sexual behavior used by the National Health and Social Life Survey in the United States. HRQOL was measured by two subscales of the EORTC QLQ-C30. Sexual problems were reported by a greater proportion of women (range, 31.9 to 64.4%) than men (range, 23.3 to 49.1%). Among four items common to both sexes, three (lacking interest in sex, unable to achieve orgasm, sex not pleasurable) were significantly more prevalent in women. Significant factors associated with multiple sexual problems in men were older age and being unemployed; in women, they were marital status and comorbidity. Lastly, more significant associations between sexual problems and HRQOL were observed in men than in women. Male and female NHL survivors differ in the prevalence of sexual problems and the factors associated with them as well as their associations with HRQOL. These findings can be used to develop sex-specific interventions to improve sexual function in this population.


Sex Lymphoma Sexual problems Survivors 



This paper was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number 2016R1D1A1B04932171).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Im-Ryung Kim
    • 1
  • Soo Hyun Kim
    • 2
  • Oh Nam Ok
    • 3
  • So Hee Kim
    • 4
  • Suyeon Lee
    • 5
  • Eunju Choi
    • 2
  • Seok Jin Kim
    • 6
  • Dok Hyun Yoon
    • 7
  • Moon Hee Lee
    • 8
  1. 1.Cancer Education CenterSamsung Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of NursingInha UniversityIncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Division of Hematology-OncologySamsung Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Cancer Edu-Info CenterAsan Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of OncologyAsan Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  6. 6.Division of Hematology-Oncology, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  7. 7.Department of Oncology, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  8. 8.Division of Hematology-OncologyInha University Hospital and College of MedicineIncheonSouth Korea

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