Managing sexual dysfunction for women with breast cancer: The perspective of healthcare providers in North East Malaysia

Chanmekun, Siti Balqis and Zulkifli, Maryam Mohd and Muhamad, Rosediani and Zain, Norhasmah Mohd and Low, Wah Yun and Liamputtong, Pranee (2022) Managing sexual dysfunction for women with breast cancer: The perspective of healthcare providers in North East Malaysia. Supportive Care in Cancer, 30 (1). pp. 401-411. ISSN 0941-4355, DOI

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Purpose Management of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is vital for women with breast cancer due to the devastating consequences, which include marital disharmony and reduced quality of life. We explore healthcare providers' (HCPs) perceptions and experiences in managing FSD for women living with breast cancer using a phenomenological approach. Methods This qualitative study was conducted using a face-to-face interview method with HCPs from two tertiary hospitals in North East Malaysia. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and transferred to NVivo (R) for data management. The transcriptions were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Three key barriers were identified through the thematic analysis: a scarcity of related knowledge; the influence of socio-cultural ideas about sex; and the specialty-centric nature of the healthcare system. Most HCPs interviewed had a very narrow understanding of sexuality, were unfamiliar with the meaning of FSD, and felt their training on sexual health issues to be very limited. They viewed talking about sex to be embarrassing to both parties that are both to HCPs and patients and was therefore not a priority. They focused more on their specialty hence limited the time to discuss sexual health and FSD with their patients. Conclusion Therefore, interventions to empower the knowledge, break the socio-cultural barriers, and improve the clinic settings are crucial for HCPs in managing FSD confidently.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Universiti Sains Malaysia [Grant No: 1001/PPSP/8012284], Graduate Development Study Incentive Fund (TIPPS)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breast cancer; Female sexual dysfunction; Healthcare providers; Sexuality; Qualitative study
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2022 06:23
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2022 06:23

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