A Scoping Review of Oncosexology Policy and Practice Tools Focused on Adolescents and Young Adults

Kexin Sun, Nhu Thao Dinh, Jeremy Lewin, Luke Grzeskowiak, Chiara Mariano, Eliza Bailey, Smaro Lazarakis, Safeera Y. Hussainy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Despite being considered a key component of quality-of-life, sexual health concerns in adolescents and young adults (AYA) patients with cancer (aged 15–39 years old) are often unmet due to barriers from both patients and health care professionals (HCPs). Investigation into policy and practice tools in this scope of practice is also limited. 

Aim: To review the literature on policy and practice tools in AYA oncosexology. 

Method: A scoping review was conducted using four databases: Medline, EMCARE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO, based on the Joanna Briggs Institute Scoping Review methodology. Retrieved articles were extracted into Covidence, followed by two screening rounds. Descriptive and basic content analyses were performed for evidence synthesis. 

Results: Seventy-four articles were included after screening rounds and citation searches. Overall, oncosexology policy and practice tools were categorized into screening tools (11 articles), guidelines (38 articles), training programs (15 articles), service delivery initiatives (5 articles), and the evaluation of their feasibility/challenges to implementation (5 articles). Among these, only ten articles were specifically about the AYA population. They helped identify and resolve sexual health concerns in AYA patients with cancer by providing strategies to overcome communication barriers, treatment options, and information resources for patients, and by advocating for more HCP education on this topic. 

Conclusion: The results warrant the need for more research, implementation and expansion of policy and practice tools for sexual health issues in AYA patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages55
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Early online date2 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • cancer
  • health personnel
  • neoplasm
  • sexual dysfunction
  • sexual health
  • sexuality

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