Sexuality After Colorectal Cancer Treatment: A Narrative Synthesis
Sexuality and sexual health are often implicated due to treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this thesis was to understand how CRC treatment impacts the sexual health experiences of survivors, and how sex and gender-related factors shape these experiences. Narrative synthesis was chosen to examine relevant literature, and a sex and gender-based analysis framework was used to account for sex and gender throughout the research process. Findings generated a framework that shows the impact of treatment includes three aspects: sexual, psychosocial, and relational impact. Individual and relational characteristics, coping strategies, and interventions can influence the severity of the impact of treatment. This synthesis identified several gaps in the literature. Few studies examined men’s and couples’ sexual experiences. More intervention research is needed to understand what kinds of interventions are advantageous for survivors. Future guidelines should incorporate sex-specific management strategies to help improve sexual, relational, and psychosocial health.