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Across the Cancer Care Continuum: Addressing Sex and Intimacy

presented by Sheila Longpré, PhD, OTR/L

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Sheila Longpre, receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Sheila Longpre, has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:

Cancer and its treatment may lead to physical and psychosocial impairments. Addressing both physical and psychosocial aspects provides a holistic approach to cancer care. One area of interest that is often overlooked is intimacy. Addressing intimacy with a client can be uncomfortable initially. This course will provide an overview of intimacy and its dysfunction as related to oncology care across the cancer care continuum through the scope of practice of the occupational therapy practitioner. It is intended to provide the practitioner with the tools necessary to establish or reestablish intimacy for the client diagnosed with cancer.

Meet Your Instructor

Sheila Longpré, PhD, OTR/L

Sheila M. Longpre, PhD, OTR/L is an Associate Professor at Gannon University in Ruskin, Florida. In her six years of teaching, Sheila has focused on educating future occupational therapy practitioners in an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. Her research interests include cancer and occupational therapy practices, specifically pertaining to lifespan, childhood cancer, breast cancer,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Intimacy and Sex

In literature, sex and intimacy are typically described together and even used interchangeably. This chapter will address the difference between the two.

2. Barriers

Cancer and its treatments have many side effects. The side effects, much like the cancer itself, can impact a client’s engagement in intimate acts. This chapter discusses various barriers that may impact the client’s well-being.

3. Physical Aspects

Physical impairments are arguably one of the most obvious signs of cancer and its treatment. This chapter will discuss how physical impairments impact intimacy.

4. Psychosocial Aspects

Psychosocial impairments are much less obvious than physical impairments in oncology care. However, psychosocial aspects are no less important than physical ones. This section will address some of the psychosocial needs of the client with cancer and how to address each.

5. Role of the Occupational Therapy Practitioner

Little is known about the role of the occupational therapy practitioner as related to intimacy and oncology. Occupational therapy scope of practice will be discussed as related to the client's request to address intimacy.

6. Conclusion

Occupational therapy practitioners play a unique role in the oncological healthcare team in addressing intimacy with clients. Providing the most appropriate care for the client throughout the cancer care continuum is essential to helping the client achieve a more meaningful intimate relationship with his or her significant other.

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