Implementing eSense-Cancer: Can an Online Therapy Program Treat Sexual Difficulties in Gynecologic Cancer Survivors?
Cancer incidence is increasing, but so is survivorship. With growing rates of people who live longer after a cancer diagnosis, it becomes primordial to consider folks’ quality of life and the vast spheres of one’s life that can be impacted by treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. As follows, sexual health is a vital component of gynecologic cancer treatment and survivorship. Unfortunately, most survivors lack sufficient information about the impact of cancer on sexual health and treatment opportunities. Our research aims to assess how well eSense-Cancer, an adapted online health intervention, meets gynecologic cancer survivors’ sexual health needs. More specifically, by offering accessible online Cognitive-Behavioural and Mindfulness-Based Therapies (CBT and MBCT respectively) to people who suffer from sexual dysfunction following gynecologic cancer treatments, we hope to demonstrate that such a digital health platform can be implemented and effectively used in this population. We also hope to gain some preliminary data on the efficacy of the program to power a future larger clinical trial. If successful, eSense-Cancer may increase survivors’ access to treatment, including those living in remote areas or facing other accessibility barriers. It may also fill healthcare gaps for survivors of varying ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and gender.
After recruitment, you will need to consent to participate in the study, after which we will send a link for you to complete the baseline questionnaires online. We will then randomize you to either the CBT or MBT arm of the program. You will then meet with a navigator for a brief conversation to get familiarized with the role of these volunteers throughout the study. A link with your access to eSense-Cancer will then be sent to you and you will be directed to start the modules. As you work through the modules weekly on your own time, you will need to complete the exercises throughout the modules as well as complete satisfaction and usability surveys after each module. We also request that you attend a weekly check-in meeting with your navigator. Once you have completed the final module, there will be one final set of post-treatment questionnaires that will need to be completed.
Who can participate?
We are looking for survivors of gynecologic cancer who:
- Are ≥ 19 years of age
- Report symptoms of sexual difficulties
- Have a current or history of gynecologic cancer of any subtype
- Are fluent in English
- Have reliable internet access and basic competency in using online platforms
- Are available for 8 – 16 weeks and able to complete eSense modules and the associated questionnaires
- Are not currently undergoing any cancer treatment (i.e., chemotherapy, radiation, or have an upcoming surgery)
When will the study take place?
Recruitment for this study will begin in November 2023 and will run until February 2023.
Where does this study take place?
This study can be completed entirely online! Questionnaires will be administered electronically, and navigator meetings will be taking place virtually on a secure platform.
If you are interested in taking part in this study, feel free to contact Geneviève, our graduate student leading the eSense-Cancer research.
Principal investigator: Dr. Lori Brotto (firstname.lastname@example.org) Graduate student: Geneviève Allaire-Stacey (email@example.com)