Sexual and vaginal health concerns are common for women after cancer, but providers do not often address sexual functioning with their female patients. Providers and women note multiple barriers to communication but women consistently report valuing sex even after treatment for cancer and want more support when they have problems. Female cancer survivors in rural areas are especially vulnerable but usually lack access to support services. A literature review was completed to develop a novel approach, the Sexual and Vaginal Health after Cancer (SVHC) care pathway, rooted in the PLISSIT model of sex therapy. The SVHC care pathway, which consists of a screening tool and resources for provision of limited information or referrals, was implemented in a rural oncology clinic. A convenience sample of 60 participants was recruited. The SVHC screening tool elicited significantly more concerns than the standard tool for distress screening in oncology, the Distress Thermometer and Problem List (DT/PL). Whereas only four women (7%) noted a concern about “sexuality/intimacy” on the DT/PL, 57% noted a sexual or vaginal health concern on the SVHC (p < 0.001). The most common concerns were loss of desire and vaginal dryness. Most women who reported sexual or vaginal health concerns wanted to have their concerns addressed, but preferred written information only. Most participants, providers, and staff were comfortable using the SVHC screening tool and thought it improved communication and follow up. Several themes emerged from participant feedback including that they believed sexual health was an important but under-addressed part of care and that they appreciated the frank and open dialogue that was facilitated by the SVHC screening tool. Providers agreed that the SVHC care pathway supported conversations that would not have otherwise happened and allowed women to take control of these discussions based on their own preferences. With further research in other settings, the SVHC care pathway may prove to be a useful tool for helping nurse practitioners and other providers better meet the sexual health needs of the growing number of women who are surviving cancer.
|Commitee:||Britton, Geraldine, Fronczek, Ann, Kellogg Spadt, Susan|
|School:||State University of New York at Binghamton|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Sexuality, Oncology, Nursing, Womens studies|
|Keywords:||Female cancer survivors, Rural oncology, Screening tool, Sexual distress|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be