Document Detail

Communication about sexuality and intimacy in couples affected by lung cancer and their clinical-care providers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20540168     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the effects of lung cancer on intimate and sexual relationships. This study explores health-care provider, patient, and partner perspectives on: (1) the effects of lung cancer on physical and emotional intimacy, (2) the ways in which intimacy affects the experience of living with lung cancer, and (3) communication about intimacy and sexuality in the context of lung cancer.
METHODS: Qualitative, in-depth interviews with eight cancer-care providers and 13 married couples (ages 43-79) affected by lung cancer were conducted and audiotaped in the clinical setting. Interviews were transcribed, iteratively analyzed, and coded according to the above domains. Coding was performed independently by members of an interdisciplinary team; inter-rater reliability was assessed using the kappa statistic; and analyses were summarized by domain.
RESULTS: Most cancer-care providers and couples affected by lung cancer believed intimacy and sexuality issues were salient, yet few reported discussing these. Couples described negative and positive effects of cancer on intimacy. Negative effects were driven by cancer or its treatment, including physical and psychological effects. Positive effects included an increase in non-coital physical closeness and appreciation of the spouse. Age was perceived as an important factor influencing the relationship between lung cancer and intimacy.
CONCLUSIONS: Emotional intimacy and sexuality are important concerns for couples affected by lung cancer. The findings suggest previously unrecognized positive effects of lung cancer on emotional and physical intimacy. Couples affected by lung cancer and providers believe these issues are relevant for lung cancer care.
Stacy Tessler Lindau; Hanna Surawska; Judith Paice; Shirley R Baron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psycho-oncology     Volume:  20     ISSN:  1099-1611     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychooncology     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-28     Completed Date:  2011-03-24     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9214524     Medline TA:  Psychooncology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  179-85     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Caregivers / psychology
Family Characteristics
Interpersonal Relations*
Interviews as Topic
Lung Neoplasms / psychology*
Professional-Patient Relations
Qualitative Research
Quality of Life / psychology
Sexual Partners / psychology*
Sexuality / psychology*
Spouses / psychology
Grant Support
K23 AG00488/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG032870/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG032870-01A1/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG032870-03/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG08006/AG/NIA NIH HHS; NIA AG12857/AG/NIA NIH HHS

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