How to ask and what to do: A guide for clinical inquiry and intervention regarding female sexual health after cancer

Sharon L. Bober, Jennifer B. Reese, Lisa Barbera, Andrea Bradford, Kristen M. Carpenter, Shari Goldfarb, Jeanne Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose of review As the number of female cancer survivors continues to grow, there is a growing need to bridge the gap between the high rate of women's cancer-related sexual dysfunction and the lack of attention and intervention available to the majority of survivors who suffer from sexual problems. Previously identified barriers that hinder communication for providers include limited time, lack of preparation, and a lack of patient resources and access to appropriate referral sources. Recent findings This study brings together a recently developed model for approaching clinical inquiry about sexual health with a brief problem checklist that has been adapted for use for female cancer survivors, as well as practical evidence-based strategies on how to address concerns identified on the checklist. Examples of patient education sheets are provided as well as strategies for building a referral network. Summary By providing access to a concise and efficient tool for clinical inquiry, as well as targeted material resources and practical health-promoting strategies based on recent evidence-based findings, we hope to begin eliminating the barriers that hamper oncology providers from addressing the topic of sexual/vaginal health after cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in supportive and palliative care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • cancer
  • provider communication
  • sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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