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Experiences of a web-based psycho-educational intervention targeting sexual dysfunction and fertility distress in young adults with cancer-A self-determination theory perspective.

Micaux Obol, C., Lampic, C., Wettergren, L. , Ljungman, L. & Eriksson, L. E. ORCID: 0000-0001-5121-5325 (2020). Experiences of a web-based psycho-educational intervention targeting sexual dysfunction and fertility distress in young adults with cancer-A self-determination theory perspective.. PLoS ONE, 15(7), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236180


INTRODUCTION: Sexual and reproductive health are significant aspects of quality of life. Healthcare often fails to provide adequate support for young cancer survivors in this area, hence the need to develop more effective interventions. The present study aimed to describe experiences of participating in a web-based psycho-educational intervention focusing on sexual dysfunction and fertility distress after cancer, and to explore these experiences within the theoretical frame of the basic psychological needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy according to self-determination theory.

METHODS: Individual semi-structured interviews with 24 women and 4 men, age 19-40, were abductively analyzed using the Framework approach for qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Participant experiences corresponded well with the three main deductive themes competence, relatedness and autonomy, divided into a total of nine subthemes illustrating varying degrees of basic need satisfaction with considerable nuance but not without ambiguity. While satisfaction of the need for competence could be linked to the amount of information in relation to participants' cognitive capacity, satisfaction of the need for relatedness seemed to be of special importance for these young adults with cancer experience. Invitation to the program meant a chance at alleviating loneliness and normalizing problems, symptoms and concerns. Participants' descriptions of perceived autonomy support were more challenging and ambiguous, because of the many contradictions in participants' responses to their variable situations.

CONCLUSION: Basic psychological needs were confirmed as flexible positions along a continuum rather than discrete and mutually exclusive qualities. Understanding the variety of basic need satisfaction may enhance the design of future web-based interventions to be even more inclusive, tailorable and autonomy-supportive. Further research is warranted to determine the role of basic need satisfaction as a possible mediator for web-based psychoeducational interventions in cancer survivorship care.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: ©2020 Micaux Obol et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher Keywords: Cancers and neoplasms, Testicular cancer, Cancer treatment, Cancer detection and diagnosis, Breast cancer, Sexual dysfunction, Young adults
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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