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Sexual Health Education: Knowledge Level of Oncology Nurses and Barriers to Discussing Concerns With Patients

Khaled Eid

Susan Christensen

Jennifer Hoff

Kartik Yadav

Paige Burtson

Mebin Kuriakose

Harold Patton

Adey Nyamathi

sexual health, sexuality, communication, barriers, education, skills training
CJON 2020, 24(4), E50-E56. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.E50-E56

Background: Cancer treatment has a significant impact on a patient’s sexual health and function. However, numerous communication barriers deter healthcare professionals from initiating a sexual health conversation with patients.

Objectives: This study assessed the effects of a nurse-focused sexual health education workshop on change in knowledge of sexual concerns, barriers to discussing sexuality, and frequency of bringing up sexual concerns.

Methods: A train-the-trainer approach was used to educate oncology nurse managers, who then trained oncology nurses (N = 65) at 10 education workshops. Each workshop provided four hours of content on sexual health and incorporated role-play and lecture.

Findings: Mean knowledge scores were improved, and barriers to discussing sexuality at the three- and six-month follow-ups were reduced. Frequency in discussing sexual concerns increased at three months and was sustained at six months.

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