Effect of a telephone-based perioperative nurse-led counselling programme on unmet needs, quality of life and sexual function in colorectal cancer patients: A non-randomised quasi-experimental study

Cihan E., VURAL F.

European Journal of Oncology Nursing, vol.68, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejon.2024.102504
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Oncology Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Assessment of healthcare needs, Colorectal cancer, Colorectal surgery, Health-related quality of life, Mobile health, Nurse-led clinics, Sexual dysfunctions, Sexual health, Telehealth, Telephone interviews
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: To investigate the effect of perioperative nurse-led counselling intervention on unmet needs, sexual function and quality of life in colorectal cancer patients. Method: This quasi-experimental study included 82 patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery (control n = 45, intervention n = 37). The telephone-based perioperative nurse-led counselling intervention, which contained implementation, follow-up, and assessment, was applied to start from pre-surgery to post-surgery 3rd month. Data were collected with the Unmet Needs of Cancer Survivors Scale, European Organisation for Treatment and Research of Cancer Quality of Life Scale-30, Colorectal-29, Female Sexual Function Index, and International Index of Erectile Function pre- and post-surgery 3rd-6th months. The control data was collected before the pandemic, and the intervention group throughout the pandemic. The Mann-Whitney-U, Wilcoxon rank test was used. Results: Compared to the control group, intervention group patients reported lower unmet and total needs scores (p = 0.000); higher quality of life (p = 0.000), physical, emotional (p = 0.000), role (p = 0.001), and social functioning scores (p = 0.002); lower fatigue (p = 0.000), constipation (p = 0.034), pain (p = 0.018), nausea-vomiting (p = 0.004), and insomnia scores (p = 0.003); and higher body image, anxiety (p = 0.000) and weight scores (p = 0.003), lower urinary frequency buttock pain (p = 0.000), dysuria (p = 0.001), abdominal pain (p = 0.001), fluctuance (p = 0.000), stool frequency (p = 0.002), and faecal incontinence (p = 0.006) scores at the sixth month (p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences between male and female sexual function scores (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Perioperative nurse-led counselling reduced unmet needs and increased the overall quality of life by decreasing symptom levels but did not affect sexual health outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer surgery.