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Seeking research participants!

Are you concerned about sex and intimacy while living with a permanent ostomy after colorectal cancer?

An Internet Delivered Intervention for Re-Adjustment to Sexual Intimacy with a Permanent Ostomy After Colorectal Cancer

Why an intervention for sex and intimacy after colorectal cancer?

Many couples struggle with connecting intimately and sexually because of the physical and psychological changes caused by colorectal cancer and life with a permanent ostomy. Unfortunately, these issues are often not discussed with health care professionals and very few programs exist to address these couples’ concerns.

Why an online intervention?

Based on the advantages of Internet communication, including convenient and anonymous access, it is quickly becoming a popular way to deliver health care services. Therefore, this intervention will be offered via online videoconferencing. By making use of online technology, this research has the ability to increase access of valuable services to colorectal cancer survivors across Ontario.

What is this research about?

The purpose of this research is to evaluate whether a two-session intervention in which couples have the opportunity to have therapist-facilitated conversations about their sexual and intimate relationship can help enhance their resilience and ability to cope with these challenges. Our long-term goal is to develop an intervention for sexual and intimate adjustment that is part of standard colorectal cancer care.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Individuals who have a permanent ostomy after colorectal cancer and are at least 1-month post active treatment
  • Individuals who are in a committed relationship
  • Couples with access to the Internet in a private space (webcams can be provided)
  • Couples who currently reside in Ontario

What will participation involve?

Eligible couples will be placed into one of two groups. The “intervention group” will have two 1.5-hr long meetings with a therapist via online videoconferencing to discuss their sexual and intimate relationship; educational materials and activities will be used to guide these conversations. The “information group” will receive written educational material only but can choose to receive the intervention after they complete the research. All couples will complete questionnaires about their sexual satisfaction, communication, and relationship at four times points over the course of 3 months. Couples in the “intervention group” will also give feedback about the intervention in an interview. Participants will not be compensated.

Interested in participating?

Principal Investigator is Dr. Karen Fergus, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre.

To learn more about this study please contact the study coordinator, Molly McCarthy, at or 416-480-6100 ext. 681447

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