Can sexual outcomes be enhanced after cancer using online technology?

The impact that cancer and its treatments can have on sexual functioning, sexual desire, and sexual arousal can be profound and many patients report significant unmet needs in relation to managing sexual difficulties.

We reviewed the literature to understand the application of Internet-based technology in the delivery of psychosexual interventions, information provision, and support.

Ten studies were identified that utilized Internet-based technology to deliver information, support, or psychosexual interventions designed to improve sexual outcomes, sexual distress, and quality of life of cancer survivors. The intensity of intervention, approach, and complexity differed substantially across platforms.

The review identified a range of intervention types designed to enhance sexual outcomes following the challenges that many individuals face after cancer diagnosis and treatment. It is evident that the use of online technology in improving sexual outcomes in cancer care is still in its infancy; however, there is emerging evidence to support the delivery of psychosexual care using the online environment. Further research, using larger, more well controlled methodologies, is required to confirm that sexual outcomes can be improved through the use of online interventions.

Current opinion in supportive and palliative care. 2016 Jan 04 [Epub ahead of print]

Addie C Wootten, Brindha Pillay, Jo-Anne M Abbott

aDepartment of Urology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville bEpworth Prostate Centre, Epworth Healthcare, Richmond cAustralian Prostate Cancer Research, East Melbourne dNational eTherapy Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia.