Supportive Care

The Sexuality Discussion: Tools for the Oncology Nurse

Marcelle Kaplan

Rita Pacelli

sexuality and fertility, Patient education
CJON 2011, 15(1), 15-17. DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.15-17

Receiving a cancer diagnosis and experiencing the effects of antineoplastic therapies can have a devastating effect on a person's emotional, physical, and psychological well-being and a significant negative effect on sexual desire and function. Oncology nurses are the ideal healthcare professionals to assess the sexual health status of their patients and to intervene to sensitively address sexuality issues. Having this discussion can be uncomfortable for both nurses and patients, but using communication tools can help nurses gain confidence in their abilities to address sexuality concerns in an effective and comfortable manner and to provide patients with useful information and insights.

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