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Turkish Journal of Cancer
2008, Volume 38, Number 3, Page(s) 135-141
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Nurses’ approach to sexuality-related issues in patients receiving cancer treatments
LALE ALGIER, SULTAN KAV
Başkent University Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Ankara-Turkey

The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify the nurses’ approach to sexuality-related issues of oncology patients in Turkey. Seventy seven nurses from three universities and one state hospital in Ankara, who take care of the cancer patients, were involved. Data were collected via 13 item-questionnaire, five items were scaled (alwaysoften- occasionally-never) to evaluate the nurses’ approach to sexual concerns of cancer patients. Only 20.8% of them took education on sexuality; 46.8% of them “never” explain to male patient and their partner about birth control methods and “never” explore patients about the effects of the treatments on sexual desire. Only 18.2% of nurses stated that they “always” explore female patients who are in their fertility ages about the early menopause risk. Body image changes and their effects on sexuality were “occasionally” (45.5%) or “never” (33.8%) explored in patients. Possible effects of chemotherapy on fertility also were “occasionally” (31.2%) or “never” (39.0%) explored in patients. The reasons about not to give any information to patients were; “patients don’t tell any problems about this issues” and “not have knowledge base on this subject”. Nurses should be suggested to get education on sexual problems in cancer patients, how to communicate and counsel to the patients and their partners. The results of this study give us a perspective on nurses’ approach to sexuality-related issues in patients receiving cancer treatments and shows education needs of nurses. [Turk J Cancer 2008;38(3):135-141]

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