- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated by Saneese.
February 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm #17546
I’m really happy that ECHO chose to spotlight this area of cancer related health. It’s a growing topic area as it contributes to QOL and mental health for many patients, but there is little literature to support this work. That being said, a better video could have been created to aid providers new to this line of work and discussions with patients. For those who are still working on becoming comfortable addressing issues of SEXUAL health (as opposed to only fertility related discussions, it’s important to separate out the two otherwise sexual health discussions can be forgotten or primarily focus on contraception and STI protection), this can sometimes be what a visit looks like. A speed lecture to get through everything without having to sit with one’s own feelings of discomfort around questions that AYAs may be more focused on. As mentioned in other discussions, the patient should be asked about how she is feeling, what her own concerns are, and most importantly, what losses is she experiencing around her sexual health (e.g. level of attractiveness, level of desire, level of pleasure, etc.). Fertility and sexual intimacy are hugely important factors that impact AYA relationship stability both in the short and long term. Increasing comfort around these discussions will not only help them advocate for themselves as sexually active adults, but improve their relationships as well.February 16, 2020 at 4:10 pm #17551
Agreed! When watching this I thought this was a good example of what NOT to do in these discussions. It appears that not only is the provider not comfortable discussing sexual health, but she is also not comfortable discussing sexuality in general & non-heterosexual sexuality specifically. If the purpose of the discussion is to work towards better knowledge & choices about sexuality, then eliciting from the pt what she knows about preventing STIs, what her current sexual practices are, & her understanding of how these intersect with her cancer dx & tx would be incredibly important & go much further than the speed lecture demonstrated in this video. I also agree that if we, as the professionals in the room, are not comfortable openly talking about & advocating for our pts health & wellbeing, our pts will not be comfortable having these discussions with us or any of the others in their life with whom these discussions are important.February 16, 2020 at 8:50 pm #17556
The video depicts as sub-optimal exchange of information. The Social Worker is obviously uncomfortable with this topic and patients can pick up on that very quickly and will not be able to engage with provider. On the other hand, I’m glad she attempted to talk about options/risks and provided contact information, she may genuinely want to help, maybe with finding other resources. Sexual education won’t come easily to most and that’s why a course like ECHO is so important. We need to improve our comfort level with these discussions and this can only happen with practice! I hope the SW continues to assess sexual issues with her patients and try to help others while improving her listening/gestures/information sharing.
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