Research Article|Articles in Press, 102307

Pelvic floor dysfunction and its influencing factors during radiotherapy in cervical cancer survivors: A cross-sectional study

Published:March 19, 2023DOI:


      • The status of pelvic floor dysfunction was investigated among cervical cancer survivors undergoing radiation therapy, without a history of surgery.
      • Age, BMI, recurrence, times of radiotherapy and the number of deliveries have negative effects on pelvic floor function in cervical cancer survivors.
      • The higher the number of radiotherapy sessions, the more serious the extent of pelvic floor dysfunction in cervical cancer survivors.
      • Based on different radiotherapy stages, it is important to provide timely individualized care for pelvic floor dysfunction across different stages of severity.
      • It is necessary to focus on the pelvic floor function of patients with cervical cancer who experience recurrence.



      Radiotherapy can negatively affect the pelvic floor function of patients with cervical cancer; however, the impact of different radiotherapy times and other related factors on pelvic floor function in cervical cancer survivors during radiotherapy remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the status of pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) in cervical cancer survivors during radiotherapy and to analyze the factors influencing PFD.


      In this cross-sectional study, a convenience sampling method was used to recruit cervical cancer survivors undergoing radiotherapy from January 2022 to July 2022 at a tertiary first-class hospital located in northeastern China. The Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-Short Form 20 was used for participants' self-report of their PFD during radiotherapy.


      Data from 120 cervical cancer survivors were included in this study. The results showed that the mean PFDI-20 total score was 32.69 ± 7.76. Multiple stepwise linear regression analysis showed that 56.9% of the variance in PFD was explained by age (β = 0.25, p < 0.001), body mass index (β = 0.32, p < 0.001), recurrence (β = 0.29, p < 0.001), number of radiotherapy sessions (β = 0.39, p < 0.001), and number of deliveries (β = 0.35, p < 0.001).


      It is important to pay more attention to the PFD status of cervical cancer survivors receiving radiotherapy. Future therapeutic approaches should involve early identification of relevant risk factors early to provide patients with personalized care at different stages of radiotherapy for reducing their discomfort and improving their health-related quality of life.


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