Promoting Sexual Health Education in Adolescent and Young Adults Receiving Cancer Treatment
AuthorHeise, Erin Diane
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPurposeThe purpose of this quality improvement project was to provide nurses and practitioners with the tools and resources to help initiate and engage in sexual health conversations with the adolescent and young adult population receiving cancer therapy. Increasing the ability and candidness of these conversations, and normalizing the topics with patients, can help to decrease the taboo surrounding the information provided, and helps to provide an open and safe environment for patients discussing sexual health. Background Adolescent and young adults ranging from the age of 15 to 30 represent the majority of newly diagnosed cancer patients in the United States. Sexual health is a core aspect of healthy relationships. The diagnosis of cancer can halt normal sexual functioning and decrease the ability of safe sexual maturation in this population. Adolescents and young adults miss vital health information provided by schools and peers. Coupled with cancer therapies, unhealthy coping mechanisms are frequently encountered, which can lead to poor outcomes. Methods This quality improvement project provided an education program to nurses and practitioners to increase the knowledge surrounding basic sexual health and safety risks that a cancer patient could encounter during their cancer journey as it relates to their sexual health. The goal of the project was to increase the perceived confidence of staff to initiate these conversations and increase the amount of education provided to their patients. In order to do so, the Plan-Do-Study-Act method was utilized to evaluate and change the intervention to create a sustainable impact. Results The surveys revealed an increase in perceived comfort and confidence from participants in starting these conversations. Intent to change practice after the educational program was reported at 84% (n=21). Tangible resources, such as pamphlets, and lack of time were reported as the main barrier in engaging in these conversations after the educational program was implemented. Conclusions The results of this quality improvement project demonstrate the increased confidence perceived by participants to initiate these conversations with their patients. After implementation, participants reported that they felt they had the tools to be able to hold these conversations with their patients.
Degree ProgramGraduate College