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Project status: In progress
Women with gynaecological cancer can experience significant sexual dysfunction, yet information and support tailored for this area is often neglected or mistimed.
Cancer Australia through the National Centre for Gynaecological Cancers has commissioned a project to develop, pilot and evaluate an evidence based, interactive psychosexual training module for health professionals. This web based module and supporting resources will enable health professionals to better address the psychosexual care of women affected by gynaecological cancer and their partners, and thus improve quality of life.
This project has developed a module that addresses the psychosexual health needs of women who have been treated for ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulval cancers and other gynaecological cancers.
Sexuality is not only about physical intimacy, but includes a person's behaviours, desires and attitudes about themselves and how they express themselves to others. Sexuality can be expressed in many ways, from the clothes someone wears, the way they talk or the way they move, to the way someone expresses themself during physical intimacy.
Psychosexual issues are when someone has trouble with their sexuality. It can be a physical, mental or psychological concern. Sometimes it can be a minor concern which is easily overcome, while other times it can be more serious. Depending on the severity, the level and type of intervention required can vary.
Women with gynaecological cancers experience physical and mental changes as a result of treatment. The mental or psychosexual issues that can be experienced by women with gynaecological cancers include:
A four stage process will be used to develop the comprehensive evidence based training module. The details for each stage are outlined below. The progress update arrow above will inform which stage the project is at.
An extensive review of the literature will be undertaken at this stage. It will focus on psychosexual issues and the care of women affected by a gynaecological cancer and their partners.
A review of existing sexual health training and education materials for oncology health professionals will also be undertaken at this stage.
Activities will include the development or adaptation of existing sexual health modules.
The module will be presented in an interactive online format and supported by print ready resources for both health professionals and women affected by a gynaecological cancer and their partners.
The module and supporting resources will be piloted and evaluated across a diverse range of settings and modified accordingly.
Further information on the Pilot and Evaluation process can be found in the Comments and Feedback Section.
In the final stage, recommendations for further research and professional development needs identified throughout the course of this project will be made.
Visit the new Psychosexual Care resources
These interactive training modules provide health professionals with learning materials, including activities, quizzes and video vignettes, all based around the experiences of women treated for gynaecological cancers. Review the framework, log on to use the notebook (it's free!) and work through the modules that are relevant to you. Keep your eye on the site as we will be continuing to release supporting resources including workshop packages, power point presentations and referral tools. We will also continue to update you as we work through the accreditation process for CPD points for this resource.
The module will includes the following topics:
Supporting resources will be available in both an electronic and print ready format for primary, secondary and tertiary health professionals. The resources will include:
The training module and supporting materials will be evidence based and developed according to rigorous methods. All materials will be subject to peer review.
Women affected by gynaecological cancers, clinical experts and academic experts will be involved in the Project Team and Project Working Group. This will allow insight and experience to be drawn on from multiple disciplines.
To ensure wide spread use of the module amongst health professionals, the module will be developed to ensure:
The Project Working Group is established from multidisciplinary experts who act as close partners and interested parties who provide guidance in the area of psychosexual care to women who have been affected by gynaecological cancer and their partners.
The Project Working Group includes nominees from the following organisations: