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Communication about Sexual Health in Breast Cancer: What Can We Learn from Patients' Self-Report and Clinic Dialogue?
Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Sep;103(9) :1821-1829
PMID: 32349896    PMCID: PMC7423724    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32349896
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Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Research assessing clinical communication about sexual health is limited. We compared clinical communication about sexual health across patients' self-reports and coded dialogue in breast cancer outpatients. METHODS: 134 patients had clinic visits audio-recorded and coded for sexual health communication and completed self-report questionnaires immediately after the visit. Associations between the self-report and dialogue were assessed using Phi coefficient. Agreements (present/absent) and discrepancies (omissions, commissions) about discussed topics were classified and discrepancies analyzed for themes. RESULTS: Sexual health was discussed in 61 of 134 patient visits (46%). Associations were significant (p<.01) but differed by topic (phi=.27-.76). 37 women (23%) had >/= 1 self-report error. Discrepancies were common (19 omissions, 29 commissions). Patients often omitted communication about sexual concerns when such concerns were not problematic, and interpreted non-specific discussions as including specific topics of concern, even when not explicitly stated. Omissions were more common for women with lower education. CONCLUSIONS: Patients' reports of whether sexual health communication occurs does not always align with observed dialogue, and may vary by personal relevance of the topic. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: There are limitations in determining the prevalence of clinical communication about sexual health through patient self-report. Explaining sexual health terms might enhance shared understanding.
Notes
1873-5134 Reese, Jennifer Barsky Sorice, Kristen A Zimmaro, Lauren A Lepore, Stephen J Beach, Mary Catherine Journal Article Ireland Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Apr 4. pii: S0738-3991(20)30187-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.03.029.