A qualitative study exploring men’s experience of sexual dysfunction as a result of radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy to treat prostate cancer

Journal article


Kinnaird, W. and Stewart-Lord, A. (2020). A qualitative study exploring men’s experience of sexual dysfunction as a result of radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy to treat prostate cancer. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396920000059
AuthorsKinnaird, W. and Stewart-Lord, A.
Abstract

Aim:
Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to treat prostate cancer. Men are likely to experience erectile dysfunction, low libido, ejaculatory problems and penile shortening. This qualitative study explored men’s perceptions of sexual dysfunction, including factors such as self-perception, relationships and information and support needs.

Methods:
Semi-structured interviews were carried out with n = 8 men living 18–30 months after EBRT ± ADT. The interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was carried out.

Results:
All men experienced sexual dysfunction following treatment. The main themes arising were: (i) priorities—sexual issues were not a priority when making treatment decisions, (ii) information and support—men described a lack of information and support about sexual dysfunction and (iii) impact—sexual dysfunction impacted on their self-perception and relationships.

Findings:
Men undergoing EBRT/ADT for prostate cancer may be affected by post-treatment changes in sexual function in a range of ways. This study suggests that they would benefit from early and wide-ranging information and support on sexual dysfunction, even if they do not consider it as a priority. Candid discussions about self-perception and relationships, as well as physical changes, may equip them to cope with post-treatment changes.

KeywordsErectile dysfunction; Masculinity; Oncology;; Quality of life; ; Sexual health
Year2020
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN1460-3969
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S1460396920000059
Publication dates
Print17 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Jan 2020
Deposited23 Oct 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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