The impact of prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy on quality of life and psychological distress in women with a BRCA mutation

Psychooncology. 2013 Jan;22(1):212-9. doi: 10.1002/pon.2041. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to measure the impact of prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy on health-related quality of life and psychological distress in women.

Methods: Women who underwent prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy between August 20, 2003 and June 26, 2008 because of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation were invited to participate. Participants completed three questionnaires (SF-12(®) Health Survey, Brief Symptom Inventory and the Impact of Events Scale) before prophylactic surgery and again 1 year after surgery. Measures of health-related quality of life, of general psychological distress and of ovarian cancer worry before and after surgery were compared.

Results: Few women who underwent salpingo-oophorectomy experienced a worsening in physical or mental health functioning after salpingo-oophorectomy. On average, women experienced less ovarian cancer-specific worry after surgery; 34.3% experienced moderate to severe ovarian cancer-specific distress before surgery, compared with 18.6% after surgery.

Conclusions: For most women, physical and mental health-related quality of life did not deteriorate after prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy, and they were less worried about ovarian cancer. A subset of women continued to experience moderate to severe cancer-specific distress. Identification of these women is important in order to provide continued counseling and support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / genetics
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology
  • Ovariectomy / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Salpingectomy / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires