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  • Publication
    Sexuality as an aspect of nursing care for women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer in an Irish context
    (Elsevier, 2006-02) ;
    In this article, findings are presented from a study that aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of a sample of nurses in addressing sexuality as an aspect of care for women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. A sample of 10 oncology nurses was selected from oncology units at three hospitals in Ireland, and each participant was interviewed in depth. A qualitative strategy was employed to analyse data. Findings indicated that participants tended to construct sexuality in broad terms, and were well aware of the effects of chemotherapy on a person's sexuality. In addition, they considered sexuality education to be a legitimate and important aspect of their role. However, they also revealed that they avoided addressing sexuality with patients, or encountered structural obstacles in doing so. Some participants expressed anger and frustration when discussing barriers to incorporating sexuality into their practice. A strong theme in data was participants' perceptions that they were not adequately prepared in either pre-registration or post-registration programmes to incorporate sexuality as a dimension of patient care, although post-registration programmes were more likely to furnish them with knowledge about sexuality. Finally, participants' views on sexuality care are considered in the context of Irish culture which until recently was dominated by Catholic Church teachings.
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