Sexual Life Importance in Patients with Reproductive Cancers: A Questionnaire-Based Study | Abstract

International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)


Sexual Life Importance in Patients with Reproductive Cancers: A Questionnaire-Based Study

Author(s):Maria Grazia Criscuolo*, Stefania Perna, Carla Di Stefano, Arturo Hermann and Gabriella Marfe

Although several studies point out that cancer therapy can contribute to problems in sexual function, more research is needed to better understand the concerns and information of cancer patients about sexual life. This study aimed to identify the sexual life importance and the quality of communication with oncologists on this topic in patients with reproductive cancers. A total of 251 cancer patients from the oncological department completed a self-reported questionnaire along with two oncological consultations (T0 and T12 after 12 months). Chi-square analysis and t-test methods were used to compare the sexual life importance and quality communication of these patients according to gender, age, and education. The data of our study showed that male patients considered more important their sex life than female patients at the first consultation (T0). At the second consultation, (T12), a general increase of sexual life importance resulted for both sexes, along with a slight decrease in the difference between male and female patients. Regarding communication about sexual life, we observed at T0 that the female patients were more embarrassed to talk about their sexual life with their oncologist in respect to male patients. After one year (T12), there was a general increase in quality communication, accompanied by a moderate reduction of the difference between sexes. The importance of sexual life and the related quality of communication with the oncologists/Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)/Oncological Nurses (ONs) tend to significantly increase during the treatment. Implications for Practice: This study is limited in that specific sexual life concerns were determined with self-report measures. All health professionals did not always recognize emotional cues other than those related to physiological complaints. It follows that the issue of sexuality must be incorporated in interventions offered in the context of care for these women and men.

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