Communication about sexual problems and sexual concerns in ovarian cancer: qualitative study

Stead, M L, Fallowfield, L, Brown, J M and Selby, P (2001) Communication about sexual problems and sexual concerns in ovarian cancer: qualitative study. BMJ, 323 (7317). pp. 836-837. ISSN 1759-2151

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The assumption that ovarian cancer and its treatment (hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and chemotherapy) have considerable psychosexual effects is reasonable. Studies in other gynaecological cancers show that sexual activity is affected and that communication about this topic is poor.1–4 These issues have been neglected in ovarian cancer, so this qualitative study explored its psychosexual impact and the level of communication between women and healthcare professionals about sexual issues.

Participants, methods, and results

Detailed interviews were conducted with 15 women with ovarian cancer (median age 56 (range 42-71) years, median time since diagnosis 18 (8-120) months) who were identified from a sampling survey as sexually active or as inactive for reasons related to the condition. Topics included pre-diagnostic and current sexual behaviour and response, satisfaction with sex life, and importance of sex. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using grounded theory methods,5 starting after the first interview. Each author read the transcript, noting themes and issues, and concepts pertaining to similar issues were grouped into categories. As more interviews were conducted, a thematic framework of the categories and their associated themes was produced, and this was systematically applied to each transcript, searching for evidence of the categories and themes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with the women and 43 clinicians and nurses in Leeds to determine their attitudes about, and experiences of, written or verbal communication about sex. Local research ethics committee approval was granted.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology Including cancer and carcinogens
Depositing User: Jil Fairclough
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 11:14
Last Modified: 21 May 2021 10:00

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