• Barriers and facilitators for oncology nurses discussing sexual issues with men diagnosed with testicular cancer.

      Moore, Annamarie; Higgins, Agnes; Sharek, Danika; Milford Care Centre, Plassey Road, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland. Electronic address: a.moore@milfordcarecentre.ie. (2013-01-02)
      PURPOSE: Testicular cancer occurs at a time in a man's life when major social life changes are occurring and when body image, fertility, sexual desire and performance can be central issues. Oncology nurses, as members of the multidisciplinary team, are in an ideal position to address men's concerns. The aim of this study was to investigate oncology nurses' self-perceived knowledge and comfort in relation to discussing sexuality concerns with men diagnosed with testicular cancer and to identify the barriers and facilitators to such discussions. METHODS: This study employed a self-completion, anonymous survey design with a sample of registered nurses working in five, randomly chosen, oncology centres in Ireland. RESULTS: In total, 89 questionnaires (45% response rate) were included for analysis. Findings suggest that although nurses were open to addressing concerns, few informed patients they were available to discuss sexual concerns. Nurses reported lacking knowledge of, and discomfort in, discussing the more intimate aspects of sexuality, including: ejaculatory difficulties, erectile dysfunction, impotence, prosthesis options and testicular self examination. CONCLUSIONS: Findings reinforce the need for more comprehensive education on sexuality issues and testicular cancer. Nurses need to take a more proactive approach to sexuality care, as opposed to the 'passive waiting stance' that permeates the current culture of care. Education programmes need to include specific information on sexual issues associated with testicular cancer, and oncology nurses must subsume sexuality as an essential aspect of their role through changes in policies and nursing care planning.