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TU_44_3747 - A Multidisciplinary Clinical Experience in Sexual Health Care for Oncology Patients

Tuesday, October 23
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

A Multidisciplinary Clinical Experience in Sexual Health Care for Oncology Patients
A. Duimering1, J. Turner1, E. Andrews1, A. Driga1, A. Ayume1, J. Robinson1, L. Walker1, and E. M. Wiebe2; 1Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 2University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Purpose/Objective(s): Sexual health remains an under-addressed area in oncology care, implicating often long-term functional and psychosocial impairment for patients. With the goal of improving the quality of sexual health care provision at our tertiary cancer centre, we developed, implemented, and assessed a multidisciplinary sexuality program, to identify patient needs and apply interventions that could be effective in a broader oncology care context.

Materials/Methods: The establishment of our institution’s first oncology-focused sexual health program is described. A complementary retrospective chart review was performed to evaluate clinicodemographic data, including responses to validated sexual health questionnaires, from a two-year clinical pilot.

Results: A sexual health program was introduced for any cancer patient identified by their health care provider or self-referred, receiving 130 referrals and conducting 64 consultation and 75 follow-up visits within a two-year pilot period. Patients attending the program were 75% female, of mean age 52 years, and had most often breast (33%) or hematologic (30%) malignancies. Most (84%) had completed curative-intent treatment, with no evidence of disease. 34% continued on endocrine therapy. The most frequent reasons for referral were pain (38%), decreased libido (35%), and vaginal dryness (27%). 100% of female patients demonstrated sexual dysfunction on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and 80% of male patients demonstrated moderate or severe erectile dysfunction on the Sexual Health Inventory For Men (SHIM). Patients waited a median of 63 days (SD 107, range 3-516) from referral to consultation, suggesting that demand for multidisciplinary sexual health care overwhelmed existing resources.

Conclusion: We have demonstrated unmet sexual health needs across a diverse oncology patient population and have presented a framework for addressing these issues. Insights emerging included the role of group-based sexual health support to improve accessibility, the need for staff education to encourage proactive intervention, and the importance of integration with existing community expertise to expand our resource base.

Author Disclosure: A. Duimering: None. J. Turner: None. E. Andrews: None. A. Driga: None. J. Robinson: None.

Adele Duimering, MD

Cross Cancer Institute

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