Sexual dysfunction in males following low anterior resection

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES - The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in males one year after undergoing low anterior resection and to determine whether health care professionals discuss sexual issues with patients after surgery.

BACKGROUND - Sexual dysfunction in males may be a complication after low anterior resection for rectal cancer, but few studies have explored this issue in Taiwan.

DESIGN - A descriptive comparison study design.

METHODS - A descriptive comparison design was used, and a group of 133 participants underwent a low anterior resection procedure for rectal cancer. The results were compared with those of a group of males who underwent colectomy (n = 58) for colon cancer. The following instruments were used: the five-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function, personal demographics and medical variables.

RESULTS - The results showed that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction among the low anterior resection patients was 97·0% (129/133), and the erectile dysfunction prevalence was 75·9% (44/58) for the males who underwent colectomy. The generalised linear model showed that after controlling for hypertension and stoma, the low anterior resection group had worse sexual function than those in the colectomy group, and stoma was also a factor that impacted patients' sexual function. The results also revealed that only 32·8-35·3% of health care providers talked about sexual dysfunction with people who have rectal cancer prior to surgery.

CONCLUSIONS - This study demonstrated that men who have undergone low anterior resection have a high risk of sexual dysfunction and that health care professionals infrequently discuss these issues with patients.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE - When patients are diagnosed with rectal cancer and before they undergo surgery, an assessment and discussion of sexual function issues should be incorporated into standard care. Continued follow-up after hospital discharge and evaluations of sexual function are vital factors for male postoperative rectal cancer patients.

Journal of clinical nursing. 2016 Apr 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Show-Ing Shieh, Yu-Hua Lin, Chiung-Yu Huang, Chia-Chan Kao, Shu-Ling Hung, Hsing-Yu Yang, Hong-Yu Tung

College of Liberal Education, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan., Nursing Department, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan., Nursing Department, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan., Nursing Department, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan., Department of Nursing, National Tainan Junior College of Nursing, Tainan, Taiwan., Department of Nursing, Mackay Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan., Medical Education & Research Department, Yuan's General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.