Mapping the prevalence and use of questionnaires to detect the neglected sexual side effects after prostate cancer treatment: a scoping review

Pierre Röscher, Ronisha Sathiram, Joanne E. Milios, Jacqueline M. van Wyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Early prostate cancer (PCa) treatment interventions may leave men with debilitating sexual side effects, especially when not diagnosed or present at initial follow-up treatment. Men are often embarrassed to disclose their sexual dysfunction. This may lead to sexual side effects related to PCa treatment remaining untreated, adding to their burden of disability. This study was conducted to map the evidence on the prevalence of neglected sexual side effects (NSSE) after radical prostatectomy (RP) surgery or radiation treatment (RT) for PCa treatment and the reported use of questionnaires to identify such side effects. Methods: This systematic scoping review’s search strategy involved searching MEDLINE/PubMed, Science Direct and Google Scholar databases. Guided by eligibility criteria, two independent reviewers conducted title, abstract and full-text screening. Data from the included studies were extracted. The review team explored the implications of the findings in relation to the research question and aims of the study. The Mixed Method Appraisal Tool was used to appraise the quality of the included studies. This review is reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines. Results: Searches of the databases identified 1369 articles, with 23 eventually included for review. The prevalence of NSSE ranged between 0 and 78% in studies reporting on early PCa treatment of RP and RT patients. Orgasmic dysfunction (5–78%), penile curvature changes (10–15.9%) and penile length shortening (0–55%) similarly showed a low to moderate prevalence. Climacturia had low prevalence (4–5.2%) after RT and moderate prevalence (21–38%) after RP, whilst anejaculation had low to high prevalence (11–72%) after RT. No validated questionnaire was used to detect any NSSE after early PCa treatment. Studies mainly modified other questionnaires, and two studies used non-validated questionnaires to identify some NSSE. Participants in the included studies reported being inadequately informed about the possible sexual side effects of their treatment. Conclusion: This study showed a low to a high prevalence of NSSE in men after RP and RT for early PCa treatment. Questionnaires helped detect individual NSSEs after PCa treatment but there is currently no evidence of a valid, reliable and comprehensive questionnaire to detect the NSSE collectively. Scoping review registration: N/A

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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