“Psychometric validation of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer–Quality of Life Questionnaire Sexual Health (EORTC QLQ-SH22)”

New publication on EORTC QLQ-SH22 has been published in European Journal of Cancer.

Greimel E, Nagele E, Lanceley A, Oberguggenberger AS, Nordin A, Kuljanic K, Arraras JI, Wei-Chu C, Jensen PT, Tomaszewski KA, Creutzberg CL, Galalae R, Toelen H, Zimmermann K, Bjelic-Radisic V, Costantini A, Almont T, Serpentini S, Paskeviciute Frøding L, Vistad I, Schmalz C; EORTC Quality of Life Group.

Psychometric validation of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life Questionnaire Sexual Health (EORTC QLQ-SH22).


Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Group developed a questionnaire to assess sexual health in patients with cancer and cancer survivors. This study evaluates the psychometric properties of the questionnaire.

Methods: The 22-item EORTC sexual health questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-SH22) was administered with the EORTC QLQ-C30 to 444 patients with cancer. The hypothesised scale structure, reliability and validity were evaluated through standardised psychometric procedures.

Results: The cross-cultural field study showed that the majority of patients (94.7%) were able to complete the QLQ-SH22 in less than 20 min; 89% of the study participants did not need any help to fill in the questionnaire. Multi-item multi-trait scaling analysis confirmed the hypothesised scale structure with two multi-item scales (sexual satisfaction, sexual pain) and 11 single items (including five conditional items and four gender-specific items). The internal consistency yielded acceptable Cronbach’s alpha coefficients (.90 for the sexual satisfaction scale, .80 for the sexual pain scale). The test-retest correlations (Pearson’s r) ranged from .70 to .93 except for the scale communication with professionals (.67) and male body image (.69). The QLQ-SH22 discriminates well between subgroups of patients differing in terms of their performance and treatment status.

Conclusion: The study supports the reliability, the content and construct validity of the QLQ-SH22. The newly developed questionnaire is clinically applicable to assess sexual health of patients with cancer at different treatment stages and during survivorship for clinical trials and for clinical practice.

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