Combined brief psychosexual intervention after mastectomy: effects on sexuality, body image, and psychological well-being

J Surg Oncol. 2007 Sep 1;96(3):235-40. doi: 10.1002/jso.20811.


Background: Mastectomy poses a severe threat to body image and sexuality, interfering with the psychological well-being of both the patient and her partner. Although many psychotherapeutic approaches have been assessed and found effective in such patients, few studies have assessed couple or sex therapy in mastectomy patients.

Methods: We report on a structured combination of brief couples and sex therapy (CBPI) used in 20 women with in situ breast cancer and mastectomy and their partners. An equal number of mastectomy patients were used as controls.

Results: CBPI patients showed significant improvement in depression and state anxiety scores, as well as in body image, satisfaction with relationship, presumed attractiveness to their partner, orgasm frequency and communicating their desire.

Discussion/conclusions: CBPI can be used as an effective alternative to individual or group psychotherapy for mastectomy patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Body Image*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery
  • Communication
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Marital Therapy*
  • Mastectomy / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Counseling*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / therapy
  • Sexuality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires