Sexual Intimacy with an Ostomy After Cancer

An Internet Delivered Intervention for Re-Adjustment to Sexual Intimacy With an Ostomy After Cancer

This study investigates the feasibility and efficacy of an Internet-delivered intervention for the sexual and intimate re-adjustment of couples in which one partner is living with a temporary or permanent ostomy (e.g., colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy) following treatment for colorectal and/or bladder cancer. The two session intervention will be delivered via online videoconferencing and will focus on facilitating couples' communication around their sexual and intimate relationship. Exercises from sex therapy will be used to scaffold conversations about motivations for having sex, intimacy and sensual pleasure, and relational strengths for coping. The intervention aims to enhance couples' ability to cope with the changes in their sexual and intimate relationship. A group of couples receiving written educational material only will be used as a comparison group to measure change in sexual and intimate adjustment over time.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Internet-Delivered Intervention for Sexual Re-Adjustment

Couples will meet with a therapist via video-conferencing for two 1.5-hr sessions. The therapist will facilitate couples' communication about their sexual and intimate relationship while providing psychoeducation about couple coping and sexuality after cancer and with an ostomy. Discussion will focus on current concerns, motivations for sex, relational strengths, and intimacy and sensual pleasure. Couples will also be encouraged to practice a sensate focusing exercise between sessions.

Written Educational Material

Couples will receive written educational material for patients coping with changes in intimacy and sexuality when living with a permanent ostomy. This educational material is published by the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. and is available for free download from their website. Couples will have two weeks to read this material.

An Internet Delivered Intervention for Re-Adjustment to Sexual Intimacy With an Ostomy After Cancer