Enhancing healthcare professional‐led sexual support in cancer care: Acceptability and usability of an eLearning resource and its impact on attitudes towards providing sexual support

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Barriers to healthcare professional (HP) (HP)-led sexual support in cancer care include lack of knowledge, skills and evidence-based educational interventions, to equip HPs to address sexual challenges faced by patients and partners. Consequently, sexual support is often avoided. This study examined HPs' acceptability and usability of the Maximising Sexual Wellbeing: Cancer Care (MSW|CC) eLearning resource for HPs and evaluated its impact on HPs' sexual attitudes and beliefs to providing sexual support in cancer care. Methods: HPs (n = 87) completed pre and post-test surveys using the modified 12-item Sexual Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (SABS). Post-test, participants rated acceptability and usability of the MSW|CC, with optional free-text comments. A repeated measures t-test assessed changes in HPs' scores on the SABS. Descriptive statistics and reporting of free text comments were used to explore HPs' perspectives of the MSW|CC. Results: SABS scores increased significantly from Time 1 (M = 35.1, SD = 4.8) to Time 2 (M = 40.1, SD = 4.3), t (86) = −10.2, p < 0.001 (two-tailed) with a medium effect size (d = 0.55); indicating a decrease in HPs' attitudinal barriers to providing sexual support. The MSW|CC was deemed acceptable, user-friendly and easy to navigate. Healthcare professionals would recommend the use of this eLearning resource to others (3.78/4, SD = 0.5), considered it a good informational resource (3.78/4, SD = 0.5) and straightforward to use (3.8/4, SD 0.42). Discussion/Conclusion: The MSW|CC reduced HPs' attitudinal barriers towards the provision of HP-led sexual support in cancer care, whilst being acceptable and useable. The MSW|CC could support implementation of global clinical guidelines advocating for HP-led sexual support across the treatment trajectory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1563
Number of pages9
JournalPsycho-oncology
Volume31
Issue number9
Early online date3 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Funding Information:
The authors jointly wish to acknowledge the leadership and expertise of Prof Eilís McCaughan throughout this study. We would like to acknowledge funding from Movember/TrueNth projects and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Oncology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • evaluation
  • sexuality
  • e-Learning
  • cancer
  • quantitative research
  • communication
  • oncology
  • acceptability

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