As the number of female cancer survivors continues to grow, there is a growing need to bridge the gap between the high rate of women's cancer-related sexual dysfunction and the lack of attention and intervention available to the majority of survivors who suffer from sexual problems. Previously identified barriers that hinder communication for providers include limited time, lack of preparation, and a lack of patient resources and access to appropriate referral sources.
This study brings together a recently developed model for approaching clinical inquiry about sexual health with a brief problem checklist that has been adapted for use for female cancer survivors, as well as practical evidence-based strategies on how to address concerns identified on the checklist. Examples of patient education sheets are provided as well as strategies for building a referral network.
By providing access to a concise and efficient tool for clinical inquiry, as well as targeted material resources and practical health-promoting strategies based on recent evidence-based findings, we hope to begin eliminating the barriers that hamper oncology providers from addressing the topic of sexual/vaginal health after cancer.
aDana-Farber Cancer Institute
bHarvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
cCancer Prevention and Control Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center
dDepartment of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
eDepartment of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto and Odette Cancer Centre, Ontario, Canada
fDepartment of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
gOhio State University, Columbus, Ohio
hDepartments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
iDepartment of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
jDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
kDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
lDepartment of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York, USA
Correspondence to Sharon L. Bober, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215, USA. Tel: +1 617 632 6547; fax: +1 617 632 2473; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org