ARTICLESOpening Communication With Cancer Patients About Sexuality-Related IssuesHautamäki, Katja MNSc, RN; Miettinen, Merja PhD, MNSc, RN; Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko-Liisa MD, PhD; Aalto, Pirjo PhD, MNSc; Lehto, Juhani PhDAuthor Information From the Heart Center, Tampere University Hospital (Ms Hautamäki); Division of Medical Services, Tampere University Hospital (Dr Miettinen); Department of Oncology, Tampere University Hospital, and Medical School, Oncology, University of Tampere (Dr Kellokumpu-Lehtinen); Administration Centre, Tampere University Hospital (Dr Aalto); and School of Public Health, University of Tampere (Dr Lehto), Tampere, Finland. This study was supported by a Pirkanmaa Cancer Society and Tampere University Hospital. Corresponding author: Katja Hautamäki, MNSc, RN, Heart Center, Tampere University Hospital, PL 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland (e-mail: [email protected]). Accepted for publication April 18, 2007. Cancer Nursing: September 2007 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 399-404 doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000290808.84076.97 Buy Metrics Abstract This study describes 215 healthcare professionals' experiences of discussing sexuality-related issues with cancer patients at a university hospital in Finland. The results indicate that staff on the cancer ward regard discussions about sexuality as a part of their job. However, discussions on these issues are uncommon: 98% of the respondents said that they talked about these issues with less than 50% of their patients, and only 35% started these discussions on their own initiative. The most important reason for not raising the issue is lack of training. More intensive education on how to open discussions on sensitive areas such as sexuality is needed. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.