Original Article

Nursing approaches to sexual dysfunction and sexual counseling-related issues in patients receiving cancer treatment

  • Gül Pınar

Received Date: 10.05.2010 Accepted Date: 02.09.2010 Gulhane Med J 2010;52(4):241-247

This study was performed as a descriptive study to identify the beliefs and opinions of nurses caring for patients with cancer about sexual dysfunction and sexual counseling. The nurses working at the adult services of Ministry of Health Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Oncology Education and Research Hospital in Ankara constituted the universe of the study (n=120). Nurses working at the outpatient and pediatric clinics were excluded from the study. Nurses working at the inpatient clinics who accepted to enter the study constituted the study group (n=103). The data were collected using the questionnaire form prepared in accordance with the literature. Chi-square test was used in determining the relationship between the sociodemographic features of the nurses and their beliefs and opinions regarding the patients’ sexual dysfunction and counseling. The frequency of giving counseling in the nurses was 26.2% in the study. Of the nurses giving counseling, 74.0% stated that they felt comfortable during talking about the sexual issues. Most of the nurses (83.4%) thought that their patients experienced sexual problems, however, only a small percentage of the patients (25.2%) requested for counseling. The nurses do not believe that sexual taboos and myths may cause sexual dysfunction (68.0%) and sexual activity does not deteriorate the progression of the cancer illness (60.2%). Most of the nurses believed that obtaining the previous history of the patient’s sexual activity was necessary and there should be a questionnaire section about sexual problems in the nurse forms (44.7%).

Keywords: Sexuality, sexual dysfunction, sexual health, nurses, cancer