Title

Occupational science and gynecologic oncology: Sex, cancer, quality of life and women’s perceived occupational possibilities

Location

New River Room A

Start Time

2-10-2015 10:45 AM

End Time

2-10-2015 12:15 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Few scholars within occupational science, therapy and oncology recognize the impact of perceived social pressures to participate in occupations- particularly in sexual activities- on the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals (Sakellariou & Algado, 2006). This may be especially important for women with gynecologic cancers who undergo surgical treatments that alter their body image, change their ability to participate in meaningful occupations, and decrease their quality of life (Reis, Beji, & Coskun, 2010). In particular, there is a gap in the literature exploring how the quality of life of women with gynecologic cancers relates to their perception of social pressures for activity participation and their confidence to participate in sexual, homecare, and work occupations.

The purpose of this paper is to present an interdisciplinary and collaborative study between occupational science and gynecologic oncology examining the relationship between quality of life and the perceived occupational possibilities of women with newly diagnosed gynecologic cancers. One hundred and eighty-seven women with newly diagnosed gynecologic cancers requiring surgery completed quality of life assessments and the Possibilities for Activity Scale- Gynecologic Oncology (PActS-GO) one month after their primary surgical treatment through a telephone –based interview. The PActS-GO assesses individuals’ perception of social pressures and their confidence in doing occupations (e.g. creative, sexual, homecare activities etc.). A regression approach will assess correlates with physical, mental and global quality of life and PActS-GO. We hypothesize that higher quality of life scores will be associated with higher scores on the PActS-GO. In other words, women with better overall quality of life, following surgery, will have more confidence in activity participation and a stronger perception that sexual, work and homecare occupations are socially ideal.

These findings will enhance understandings of quality of life and survivorship for women with gynecologic cancers by elucidating the relationship among perceived social norms about occupations and quality life. Finally, this study will further the translation of an occupational science construct, occupational possibilities, to the fields of cancer survivorship research and gynecologic oncology, by demonstrating the relationship between this construct and the lived cancer experience, cancer surgical outcomes and the quality of life of women with cancer.

Key words: occupational possibilities, quality of life, cancer

Authors objectives for discussion:

1- To engage in scholarly discussion regarding association between quality of life and perceptions of occupational possibilities for women with gynecologic cancers

2- Discussion concerning the perceived social pressure for participation in sexual activities for women with gynecologic cancers

3- Discussion about the ways in which a diagnosis (and subsequent treatment) of gynecologic cancer can effect and shape participation in occupations

4- Dialog about the partnership and unique collaboration between occupational scientists and gynecologic oncologists

Targeted conference themes: interdisciplinary collaborations in the study of occupation and translation of occupational science

References

Reis, N., Beji, N. K., & Coskun, A. (2010). Quality of life and sexual functioning in gynecological cancer patients: results from quantitative and qualitative data. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 14(2), 137-146.

Sakellariou, D., & Algado, S. S. (2006). Sexuality and occupational therapy: exploring the link. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(8), 350-356.

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Oct 2nd, 10:45 AM Oct 2nd, 12:15 PM

Occupational science and gynecologic oncology: Sex, cancer, quality of life and women’s perceived occupational possibilities

New River Room A

Few scholars within occupational science, therapy and oncology recognize the impact of perceived social pressures to participate in occupations- particularly in sexual activities- on the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals (Sakellariou & Algado, 2006). This may be especially important for women with gynecologic cancers who undergo surgical treatments that alter their body image, change their ability to participate in meaningful occupations, and decrease their quality of life (Reis, Beji, & Coskun, 2010). In particular, there is a gap in the literature exploring how the quality of life of women with gynecologic cancers relates to their perception of social pressures for activity participation and their confidence to participate in sexual, homecare, and work occupations.

The purpose of this paper is to present an interdisciplinary and collaborative study between occupational science and gynecologic oncology examining the relationship between quality of life and the perceived occupational possibilities of women with newly diagnosed gynecologic cancers. One hundred and eighty-seven women with newly diagnosed gynecologic cancers requiring surgery completed quality of life assessments and the Possibilities for Activity Scale- Gynecologic Oncology (PActS-GO) one month after their primary surgical treatment through a telephone –based interview. The PActS-GO assesses individuals’ perception of social pressures and their confidence in doing occupations (e.g. creative, sexual, homecare activities etc.). A regression approach will assess correlates with physical, mental and global quality of life and PActS-GO. We hypothesize that higher quality of life scores will be associated with higher scores on the PActS-GO. In other words, women with better overall quality of life, following surgery, will have more confidence in activity participation and a stronger perception that sexual, work and homecare occupations are socially ideal.

These findings will enhance understandings of quality of life and survivorship for women with gynecologic cancers by elucidating the relationship among perceived social norms about occupations and quality life. Finally, this study will further the translation of an occupational science construct, occupational possibilities, to the fields of cancer survivorship research and gynecologic oncology, by demonstrating the relationship between this construct and the lived cancer experience, cancer surgical outcomes and the quality of life of women with cancer.

Key words: occupational possibilities, quality of life, cancer

Authors objectives for discussion:

1- To engage in scholarly discussion regarding association between quality of life and perceptions of occupational possibilities for women with gynecologic cancers

2- Discussion concerning the perceived social pressure for participation in sexual activities for women with gynecologic cancers

3- Discussion about the ways in which a diagnosis (and subsequent treatment) of gynecologic cancer can effect and shape participation in occupations

4- Dialog about the partnership and unique collaboration between occupational scientists and gynecologic oncologists

Targeted conference themes: interdisciplinary collaborations in the study of occupation and translation of occupational science