Sexuality in Children and Adolescents With Cancer: Pediatric Oncology Nurses' Attitudes and Behaviors
AbstractIt is esssential that health professionals openly discuss how cancer may affect the developing sexuality of childhood cancer patients. This study was conducted to explore nurses' attitudes and behaviors regarding sexuality in cancer patients. Results are reported for a subset of a larger study (N = 937) from subjects who indicated that their practice included children and/or adolescents (N = 156). The Williams-Wilson Sexuality Survey was used to measure attitudes towards sexuality in cancer patients, behavior in nursing care related to the sexuality of a cancer patient, and attitudes towards sexuality in the child and/or adolescent with cancer. The majority of subjects agreed that sexuality should be a routine component of nursing care, yet less than half had actually discussed an alter ation in sexuality with an adolescent patient. More than one third said they were not comfortable in initiating such discussions. However, they were comfortable in discussing sexuality concerns when these discussions were initiated by the patient and/or family.