Relationship Between Sexual Orientation and Quality of Life in Female Breast Cancer Survivors

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  • Background: Some groups of breast cancer survivors bear a greater burden of diminished quality of life than others. Self-identified lesbians, or women who partner with other women in romantic and spousal relationships, are one group of women that has been hypothesized to experience and report poorer quality of life compared with heterosexual breast cancer survivors. Methods: A convenience sample of 204 breast cancer survivors (143 heterosexual and 61 self-identified lesbians) participated in this cross-sectional, online study by completing electronic surveys regarding their quality of life. Results: Multivariate linear regression indicated that quality of life was not related to sexual orientation (β = 0.13, p = 0.30). Quality of life scores were similar between heterosexual and self-identified lesbian breast cancer survivors. Conclusion: Quality of life scores were similar between heterosexual and lesbian breast cancer survivors. Future survivorship research should include population-based sampling of lesbian breast cancer survivors for testing quality of life and reducing the healthy volunteer effect, and population-based methodologies should be made available to enhance researcher ability to study this rare population.
  • Keywords: Impact, Women, Diagnosis
  • Keywords: Impact, Women, Diagnosis
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  • Jabson, J. M., Donatelle, R. J., & Bowen, D. J. (2011). Relationship between sexual orientation and quality of life in female breast cancer survivors. Journal of Women's Health (2002), 20(12), 1819-1824. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.2921
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  • 20
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  • 12
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  • The project described was supported in part by The Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at The Fenway Institute and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) under Award Number R21HD051178.
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