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Development and Validation of Sexual Quality of Life Questionnaire for Men Who Have Sex with Men with Prostate Cancer

development-and-validation-of-sexual-quality-of-life-questionnaire-for-men-who-have-sex-with-men-with-prostate-cancer

Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study

Principal Investigator Dr. Bernard Lee has published a pilot project involving prostate cancer (PCa) survivors in the men who have sex with men (MSM) community. His success in securing grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology helped initiate the COMPASS study. Dr. Lee, as a Radiation Oncologist, has the relevant clinical knowledge of PCa treatment and, being openly gay, the personal knowledge of MSM sexual practices and concerns. Since this research initiation, 2 additional studies have been published with presentation in international conference.

Purpose of this research project

We aim to develop COMPASS, a sexual quality of life (QoL) questionnaire designed for MSM with PCa. It will be an essential tool for all future research in this population. Furthermore, its use may also be expanded to other malignancies and medical conditions, where sexual function is affected by the diseases and treatments. There are two main features that set COMPASS apart from other questionnaires.

Unlike existing questionnaires for sexual QoL which focus mainly on penile-vaginal intercourse, COMPASS consists of multiple modules addressing different aspects of sexual QoL. This design is reflective of MSM patients’ fluidity and adaptability in sexual practices as well as relationship status after PCa treatment.

COMPASS is the first step in addressing knowledge gap for MSM sexual QoL after PCa treatment by generating reliable research data and evidence-based medicine. Informed treatment decision is reflective of patients’ values and preferences is the core of patient-centered care, supported by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Lastly, COMPASS study will raise awareness of the health care needs and challenges faced by MSM. It will promote acceptance and inclusivity, which will improve over care of MSM patients with PCa.

How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities

All prostate cancer (PCa) treatments have negative impacts on men’s sexual well-being. Furthermore, the sexual side effects from PCa treatment appear to be more severe in men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) population than in heterosexual men. Unfortunately, there are still knowledge gaps on how PCa treatment affect the sexual life of MSM population. This is partly because no sexual well-being questionnaire is applicable specifically to MSM with PCa. Our team has been creating such questionnaire, and we are the last step to validate the questionnaire

The questionnaire we create will be crucial for researchers studying sexual impact of PCa patients in the MSM community. Future studies can use our questionnaire to investigate, for examples, which treatments have the worst or least sexual impacts for MSM patients, and how healthcare professionals can better provide care for MSM population with PCa. However, until our questionnaire is finalized, these questions cannot be answered.

Receiving support from Rainbow Health Ontario will not only help finalize the questionnaire, but also create future opportunity in reaching out to MSM with PCa in Canada and improving their care.

Participants

1. MSM 40 to 75 years old.
2. Diagnosis of non-metastatic PCa.
3. Undergoing active surveillance or received curative intent for treatments, which can include radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation, brachytherapy, with/without hormone therapy.
4. Can provide inform consent.
5. Participants must be fluent in English.

Compensation

Each participant, who has completed the set of questionnaires twice (as per study design) will also be asked at the end whether he would like to be entered into a $100 USD gift card raffle for every 5 participants.

Mitigation measures

There is minimal disadvantage in taking part in this survey, except for the time it takes to complete the survey. The questions may seem sensitive or personal as PCa is a very personal experience. Participants do not have to answer any question that they are uncomfortable with. Participation was also anonymous.

Promoting the Study

Participants will be recruited through malecare.org with direct link to the survey. We have hired a student from the UBC Sauder School of Business to design new advertising materials to expand recruitment through Facebook, Twitter, dating applications (such as Grindr), and other social platforms used by our target population (PCa support groups outside of North America, Meetup). The number of advertising and channels will be time and cost dependent. Potential participants can also contact us for questions at pcastudy@hotmail.com before joining the survey.

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