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Nonresponse data in sexual well-being among breast reconstruction patients-who are we overlooking?

BACKGROUND: Missing data can affect the representativeness and accuracy of survey results, and sexual health-related surveys are especially at a higher risk of nonresponse due to their sensitive nature and stigma. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the proportion of patients who do not complete the BREAST-Q Sexual Well-being relative to other BREAST-Q modules and compare responders versus nonresponders of Sexual Well-being. We secondarily examined variables associated with Sexual Well-being at 1-year.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of patients who underwent breast reconstruction from January 2018 to December 2021 and completed any of the BREAST-Q modules postoperatively at 1-year was performed.

RESULTS: The 2941 patients were included. Of the four BREAST-Q domains, Sexual Well-being had the highest rate of nonresponse (47%). Patients who were separated (vs. married, OR = 0.69), whose primary language was not English (vs. English, OR = 0.60), and had Medicaid insurance (vs. commercial, OR = 0.67) were significantly less likely to complete the Sexual Well-being. Postmenopausal patients were significantly more likely to complete the survey than premenopausal patients. Lastly, autologous reconstruction patients were 2.93 times more likely to respond than implant-based reconstruction patients (p < 0.001) while delayed (vs. immediate, OR = 0.70, p = 0.022) and unilateral (vs. bilateral, OR = 0.80, p = 0.008) reconstruction patients were less likely to respond. History of psychiatric diagnosis, aromatase inhibitors, and immediate breast reconstruction were significantly associated with lower Sexual Well-being at 1-year.

CONCLUSION: Sexual Well-being is the least frequently completed BREAST-Q domain, and there are demographic and clinical differences between responders and nonresponders. We encourage providers to recognize patterns in nonresponse data for Sexual-Well-being to ensure that certain patient population's sexual health concerns are not overlooked.

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