Barriers to Sexual Health Communication in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Study
Dr. Zohre Keshavarz,
School of Nursing and Midwifery of SBMU, Niayesh Intersection, Vali-e-Asr Street, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: Sexual dysfunction following breast cancer treatment is common. However, itâ€™s often been neglected. Patients often have difficulty to talk about sexuality issues with their partner. Health-care providers avoid entering this domain too. Identifying communication barriers around sexuality is important to solve sexual dysfunction in breast cancer survivors.
Aim: To diagnose communication barriers regarding sexual health in breast cancer survivors.
Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study, 13 breast cancer survivors and 12 key informants were interviewed in semi-structured face to face approach. The participants were selected through targeted sampling method and data were analysed using conventional content analysis approach by MAXQDA12.0 software.
Results: Two main categories includingâ€ś relationship with partnerâ€ť and â€śrelationship with health care providersâ€ť were extracted from the interviews as barriers. Weakness of sexual discourse was the most important barriers between couples. In terms of patient-providers relationship, the most known barriers were neglecting patientsâ€™ sexual concerns and lack of a teamwork approach from the patients and providers point of view respectively.
Conclusion: Health provider needs to acquire communication skills and knowledge about managing sexual disorders in breast cancer survivors.