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ESMOPharma 2013 (ECC 2013): Dr Florian Scotté

The Integration of Oncosexology into Oncological Care

ESMOPharma 2013 (ECC 2013): Dr Florian Scotté


According to studies, 40 to 100% of cancer patients may suffer from sexual disorders. Information and access to specific support for this issue are essential elements in managing these afflictions, but professionals are rarely trained to discuss "that issue" outside of the staff room, believing they do not have the capacity to guide the patient in such education!

A multidisciplinary training program (educational and workshop sessions) on sexuality was developed at the Landspitali Cancer Centre (Iceland) [2013 ECC, Abs 1776]. The evaluation of this program, offered to members of the Medical, Surgical, and Gynaecologic Oncology Departments, was conducted at 3 time periods:

T1: baseline before starting the training programme.
T2: 10 months after the first workshop took place.
T3: 5 months after the second workshop.

Twenty-five practitioners (nurses and doctors) selected for their key role at the core of their unit received this training and were evaluated through a questionnaire asking them about their habits in terms of practices, attitudes, and impediments affecting their approach to sexuality in their daily professional activity. These practitioners were primarily female nurses with more than 15 years of professional experience.

90% of the respondents recognised the importance of discussing sexuality with patients and being able to continue training on sexuality. That's good.

The prevalence of discussion with patients was significantly higher once the training sessions were conducted compared to the non-trained caretakers (p<0.001). That's also good.

However, only 12% of practitioners admitted to having discussions on the topic of sex with more than 50% of their patients. The impediments that arose, despite the training received, were essentially lack of time and intimacy.

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