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Reese JB , Beach MC , Smith KC , Bantug ET , Casale KE , Porter LS , Bober SL , Tulsky JA , Daly MB , Lepore SJ
Effective patient-provider communication about sexual concerns in breast cancer: a qualitative study
Support Care Cancer. 2017 Oct;25(10) :3199-207
PMID: 28451911    PMCID: PMC5803445    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28451911
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Abstract
PURPOSE: Breast cancer patients commonly experience sexual concerns, yet rarely discuss them with clinicians. The study examined patient and provider experiences and preferences related to communication about breast cancer-related sexual concerns with the goal of informing intervention development. METHODS: Patient data (n = 28) were derived from focus groups and interviews with partnered and unpartnered women treated for breast cancer reporting sexual concerns. Provider data (n = 11) came from interviews with breast cancer oncologists and nurse practitioners. Patient and provider data were analyzed separately using the framework method of qualitative analysis. RESULTS: Findings revealed individual and institutional barriers to effective communication about sexual concerns and highlighted key communication facilitators (e.g., a positive patient-provider relationship, patient communication as a driver of provider communication, and vice versa). Patients expressed preferences for open, collaborative communication; providers expressed preferences for focused intervention targets (identifying concerns, offering resources/referrals) and convenient format. A model of effective communication of sexual concerns was developed to inform communication interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that to improve patient-provider communication about sexual concerns, knowledge and skills-based interventions that activate patients and that equip providers for effective discussions about sexual concerns are needed, as are institutional changes that could incentivize such discussions.
Notes
1433-7339 Reese, Jennifer Barsky Beach, Mary Catherine Smith, Katherine Clegg Bantug, Elissa T Casale, Kristen E Porter, Laura S Bober, Sharon L Tulsky, James A Daly, Mary B Lepore, Stephen J Journal Article Germany Support Care Cancer. 2017 Apr 27. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3729-1.