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Determination of Sexual Problems of Turkish Patients Receiving Gynecologic Cancer Treatment: a Cross-sectional Study

  • Demirtas, Basak (Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Yildirim Beyazit University) ;
  • Pinar, Gul (Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Yildirim Beyazit University)
  • Published : 2014.08.30

Abstract

Background: The present study aimed to determine the prevalence and types of sexual problems of Turkish patients receiving gynecologic cancer treatment. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional convenience sample of 168 women completed the Index of Female Sexual Function (IFSF) and a Patient Identification Form in a hospital in Ankara, Turkey. Mean IFSF scores of the patients were low ($15.7{\pm}5.72$, out of a possible 45), indicating high rates of sexual problems. Results: Women frequently reported problems with dyspareunia (97.1%), vaginal dryness (97.6%), decreased sexual desire (91.1%), and difficulties of sexual arousal (92.9%) related with the cancer treatment process. They reported increased sexual problems following the period of treatment as compared to before treatment (p<0.05). Sexual dysfunction was associated with low educational and income levels, advanced age, TAH-BSO-LND surgery (total abdominal hysterectomy-bilateral salphingoopherectomylymph node dissection), experiencing side effects of chemotherapy, receiving chemotherapy in addition to surgery and radiotherapy (CT+RT+Surgery), and having a large number of chemotherapy cycles (p<0.05). Conclusions: Patients hoped for and expected counseling from healthcare professionals about their sexual functioning in relation to cancer treatments. Nurses and physicians can help to improve the overall quality of life for gynecologic cancer patients through sexual counseling.

Keywords

Gynecologic cancer treatment;physicians;nurses;sexuality;sexual counseling

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