Comparing Provider-Led Sexual Health Counseling of Male and Female Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy

Natasha Gupta, Lauren M. Kucirka, Alice Semerjian, Julia Wainger, Phillip M. Pierorazio, Amin S. Herati, Trinity J. Bivalacqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Sexual dysfunction is a common quality-of-life issue among patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) for bladder cancer, but patients report deficiencies in sexual health counseling. Aim: We sought to characterize provider-led sexual health counseling of patients undergoing RC and whether provider practice differs by patient gender. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of members of the Society of Urologic Oncology to assess topics included in provider-led sexual health counseling and barriers to counseling. Outcomes: Nonroutine counseling regarding each sexual health topic was compared for female vs male patients using chi-squared tests. Modified Poisson regression was used to examine associations between provider characteristics and nonroutine counseling of female patients. Results: Among 140 urologists, the majority did not routinely counsel patients about sexual orientation, partner sexual dysfunction, or referral options to sexual health services. Providers were significantly more likely to not provide routine counseling to female patients compared to male patients about the following topics: baseline sexual activity (20.6% vs 9.7%, respectively, P = 0.04), baseline sexual dysfunction (60.8% vs 20.2%, respectively, P < 0.05), the risk of sexual dysfunction after RC (20.0% vs 6.5%, respectively, P = 0.006), the potential for nerve-sparing RC (70.8% vs 35.5%, respectively, P = 0.002), and postoperative sexual health and dysfunction (42.6% vs 21.1%, respectively, P = 0.01). Overall, 41.2% of providers did not routinely discuss the potential for pelvic organ-preserving RC with sexually active female patients. Provider sex, age, practice type, urologic oncology fellowship training, years in practice, or female RC volume were not predictive of nonroutine or disparate counseling of female patients. The most common barriers to counseling female patients were older patient age (50.7%), inadequate time (47.1%), and uncertainty about baseline sexual function (37.1%). Clinical Implications: Urologists acknowledge key deficiencies and gender disparities in sexual health counseling of patients undergoing RC. Strengths and Limitations: Although cross-sectional, to our knowledge, this is the first study to examine provider practice patterns regarding sexual health counseling of patients undergoing RC. Conclusion: Future efforts should be directed towards reducing barriers to sexual health counseling of patients undergoing RC to improve deficiencies and gender disparities. Gupta N, Kucirka LM, Semerjian A, et al. Comparing Provider-Led Sexual Health Counseling of Male and Female Patients Undergoing Radical Cystectomy. J Sex Med 2020;17:949–956.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-956
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Cancer Survivorship
  • Radical Cystectomy
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Sexual Health
  • Sexual Health Counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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