Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

The Impact of Psychological Educational Intervention Program in Improving Psycho-Sexual Health of Married Women with Breast Cancer in Khartoum State

Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

The Impact of Psychological Educational Intervention Program in Improving Psycho-Sexual Health of Married Women with Breast Cancer in Khartoum State

Article excerpt


Psychological and sexual disturbances affect many aspects of the life of women with Breast Cancer (Abasher 2008; Ganz et al. 2003; Wong-Kim et al. 2005; Avis et al. 2004). This is mainly due to treatment side effects, especially surgery (DeGenova & Rice 2002; Casso et al. 2004). The role of Chemo and Tamoxifen therapy in aggravating the problems cannot be ignored as well (Bergland et al. 2001; Ganz et al. 1998; Alfano et al. 2006). The International Consensus Conference on Psychosocial Interventions on Cancer Patients suggested that psychosocial interventions should be offered to patients with adjustment problems that lead to high levels of psychosocial distress (Sollner et al. 2004). Psycho-education may be most effective during the diagnosis/pre-treatment time period when patient's information needs are high (Carlson & Bultz 2004; Hewitt et al. 2004; Fukui 2001). This is effective in enhancing coping with cancer, reducing emotional distress, and improving quality of life (Katz, et al. 2004). Psycho-education was found useful in reducing anxiety and depression (Dolbeault et al. 2008). Information provided through psycho-education facilitates discussion of related issues, reduce anxiety and promote women's trust and confidence in themselves (Heather & Phyllis 2006). The psycho-education consisted of coping strategies and communication skills (Baum & Andersen 2002). Visualization, relaxation training and deep breathing were also included (Stern & Sekeres 2004). Other researchers have also evaluated the efficacy of group cognitive-behavioral therapy for psychologically distressed cancer patients and for some patients who suffered from chemo and radiotherapy side effects (Kissane et al. 1997; Schofield et al. 2009; Hunter et al. 2009) Although some Sudanese studies investigated the psychological and sexual disturbances among breast cancer women (Abdelhalim 2002; Abasher 2008), this study has shown how the psychological intervention programs can improve the psychological and sexual life of patients with Br Ca. Hence, this study represents a pilot and the first research on Muslim women with Br Ca in Sudan. Accordingly, the main objective of this study is to investigate the role of the educational intervention program in improving the psychosexual health of Sudanese Muslim women with Br Ca.


This study was carried out in the Radiation and Isotopes Center in Khartoum (RICK). Participants were approached in the chemo and radiotherapy day unit and they were provided with information on the objectives of the study. Verbal consent from the participants was first sought for participation in the relevant part of the investigation. Quasi-experimental designs (Gribbons & Herman 2009) was used to select the participants (n=59) who were sexually active women diagnosed with Br Ca. Of those, 29 were the experimental group (E) and 30 were the control group (C). The experimental group (E) was divided into 3 sub-groups of 10, 10 and 9 participants. Each sub-group was exposed to 7 sessions and every session lasted for 2 hour. The intervention program adopted psycho-educational approach with focus on the cognitive behavioral theory. The components of the 7 sessions were as follows:

--Briefing the patients with the components of the intervention program.

--Medical information that patients need in different stages of their treatment (by the Oncologist)

--Psychological problems associated with cancer (e.g. anxiety and depression)

--Different types of communication skills

--Stress Management, relaxation techniques and coping skills.

--Body image and sexuality

--Coping with bad times.

All participants (E and C groups) for the pretest filled in Watts Sexual Function Questionnaire (WSFQ), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the questionnaire constructed by the researcher. The latter included socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. …

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