Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Cleary, V; Hegarty, J
European Journal of Oncology Nursing
Understanding sexuality in women with gynaecological cancer.
Optional Fields

PURPOSE: To develop a better understanding of the term sexuality in the context of gynaecological cancer and to examine the applicability of Woods (1987) conceptual framework of sexuality when examining changes in sexuality following a gynaecological cancer diagnosis. METHODS: A comprehensive search for literature focusing on sexuality in gynaecological cancer patients, published in English from 1998 to 2009, was performed in the electronic databases CINAHL, Pubmed and ISI Web of Knowledge. KEY RESULTS: Results revealed that a lack of conceptual frameworks exist which aim to describe the concept of sexuality in cancer care. In addition, a greater emphasis exists in the literature on the physical aspect of sexual functioning with a neglect of other broader dimensions. However, Woods (1987) proposes a holistic view of sexuality which is composed of three inter-related dimensions 1) Sexual Function 2) Sexual Self Concept and 3) Sexual Relationships. Through the examination of empirical literature surrounding sexuality in a gynaecological cancer context, this framework was further developed to create a neo-theoretical framework of sexuality. CONCLUSIONS: The main conclusion that can be drawn from this review of the literature is that sexuality is a multidimensional construct and must be assessed in this way. The neo theoretical framework of sexuality provides a holistic view towards sexuality which is lacking in the literature surrounding sexuality in the female cancer care context. Healthcare professionals could use this holistic approach when providing information and support to patients with gynaecological cancer.
Grant Details
European Oncology Nursing Society