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Sexual Rehabilitation Programme After Radiotherapy for Gynaecological Cancer

The aim of this randomized controlled trial is to demonstrate that a nurse-led sexual rehabilitation intervention significantly improves sexual recovery and functioning among gynaecological cancer (GC) patients treated with radiotherapy (RT), compared with usual care (i.e., oral information by a nurse or doctor and written information). Women with GC (n=220) who receive RT in one of the participating Dutch GC centres (n=9) will be randomized to either the sexual rehabilitation intervention (n= 110) or usual care (n= 110), stratified for combined RTBT vs. RT alone, and for having a partner (yes/no). Women are eligible for participation if they: have been diagnosed with either cervical, endometrial, or vaginal cancer; are treated with radiotherapy; are 18 years or older; and wish to retain their sexual activity on the short or long term. The intervention consists of four one-hour sessions at 1 month, 3, 6, and 12 months after RT. Women who received RTBT will receive an additional appointment with the nurse (2 months after RTBT) to promote regular use of vaginal dilators in order to prevent stenosis. Participants are requested to complete questionnaires at baseline and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post-RT. The primary endpoint is sexual functioning at 12 months. Secondary endpoints include vaginal symptoms and body concerns, fear of coital and non-coital sexual activity, sexual distress, treatment-related distress, generic health-related quality of life, psychological distress, and relationship dissatisfaction. Hypothesis: The investigators expect women who receive the nurse-led sexual rehabilitation programme to report a greater improvement in sexual functioning from immediate post-radiotherapy to 1 year post-radiotherapy than women in the control group.

AmsterdamStart: August 2018