Sexuality at the end of life: experiences and needs of terminally ill patients and their partner, and the role of the health care providers

Project Details


During last decades, there has been growing interest and research in Belgium and other countries on the provision of psychosocial support for the terminally ill. Although good palliative care is focused on physical as well as psycho-social and existential needs of patients and family, studies strikingly fail to integrate sexuality as a substantial component of needs-assessment and care-provision. At the other hand, an emerging body of literature shows that many patients do value sexuality in the advanced stages of their disease, and highlights the importance of providing the opportunity for these patients to discuss issues of sexuality with their healthcare providers. Nevertheless, most healthcare providers have difficulty to address sexuality in the palliative setting, and little is known about why they struggle with this level of communication in clinical practice. The proposed study intends to longitudinally investigate the sexual experiences, problems and needs of terminally ill patients and their partners, as well as the role of the healthcare providers concerning this subject. Data will be collected via a qualitative research approach, including face-to-face interviews with patients and their partners, focus-group interviews with healthcare providers in the oncology and palliative care, and panel discussions with experts.
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/03/18


  • Informal Care
  • Prevention Prognostic Factors
  • Prevention
  • Terminal Care
  • Social Inequality And Health
  • Epidemiology
  • HIV/AIDS care
  • Technology Assessment
  • Terminal Home Care
  • Evaluation Of Health Care
  • Multiethnic Society And Health
  • Organisation Of Health Care
  • Health Education

Flemish discipline codes

  • Social medical sciences not elsewhere classified