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Sex, Body Image, and Relationships: A BRIGHTLIGHT Workshop on Information and Support Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults

Martins, A; Taylor, RM; Lobel, B; McCann, B; Soanes, L; Whelan, JS; Fern, LA; (2018) Sex, Body Image, and Relationships: A BRIGHTLIGHT Workshop on Information and Support Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology , 7 (5) pp. 572-578. 10.1089/jayao.2018.0025. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Discovering sexuality and romantic relationships are important development milestones in adolescence and young adulthood. A cancer diagnosis imposes obstacles for young people such as changes in their sexual function due to the disease and/or side effects of treatment, body image concerns, and interpersonal relationship difficulties. This can cause psychological distress and can impact on quality of life. We aimed to explore sexual health information and support needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer. METHODS: Five young people aged 16-24 years, with a previous cancer diagnosis when aged 13-22 years, attended an in-depth 4-hour workshop. The framework approach was used to analyze workshop transcripts. RESULTS: Three overarching themes emerged: (i) information sharing; (ii) contexts and relationships (influencing factors); and (iii) information sharing preferences. Information shared by healthcare professionals was focused on a medicalized view of sex with symptoms, infection control, and protected sex at its core. Young people had unanswered questions related to sexual function, the impact of cancer and how to manage it, and about pleasure, body image, and relationships. Parents' presence at clinical consultations inhibited discussions about sex. Young people wanted professionals who were comfortable to talk about sex with them. CONCLUSION: Young people exhibited significant unmet needs around information provision on sex, body image, and relationships. They wanted information to be given by professionals and access to online resources. Development of training for professionals and resources to support young people requires further work.

Type: Article
Title: Sex, Body Image, and Relationships: A BRIGHTLIGHT Workshop on Information and Support Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1089/jayao.2018.0025
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1089/jayao.2018.0025
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Social Support, Young Adult, BRIGHTLIGHT
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Maternal and Fetal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124510
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