+1 Recommend
1 collections

      To submit your manuscript, please click here

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      A Smartphone-Delivered Program (Anathema) to Promote the Sexual Health of Older Adults, Colorectal Cancer Survivors, and Stroke Survivors: Protocol for a Feasibility Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial


      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          Despite the prevalence of sexual distress and dysfunction in older adults in general and stroke and colorectal cancer survivors in particular, access to specialized care is limited by organizational barriers and stigma, embarrassment, and discrimination. The internet allows reaching services that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach, and as smartphones are personal (intimate) technologies, they are a promising vehicle to close this gap. However, research focusing on smartphone-delivered sexual health promotion programs is scarce.


          This study aims to assess the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of Anathema, an 8-week, iOS/Android smartphone–delivered, individually tailored, cognitive-behavioral sexual health promotion program developed to improve relationship and sexual satisfaction, sexual functioning, sexual distress, sexual pleasure, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older adults, colorectal cancer survivors, and stroke survivors compared to treatment as usual in a waiting-list control condition.


          Two-arm, parallel, open-label, waiting list, feasibility, pilot randomized controlled trials (RCTs) will be conducted involving older adults, stroke survivors, and colorectal cancer survivors. The primary outcomes are the acceptability, usability, and feasibility of Anathema. Sexual function, relationship and sexual satisfaction, sexual pleasure, sexual distress, anxiety, depression, and HRQoL are the secondary outcomes. This study has been reviewed and approved by the ethics committees of Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto Francisco Gentil, Europacolon Portugal, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto, and Sigmund Freud University (approval numbers: CES218R/021, CES19/023, and 2022/01-05b).


          This project is funded by the European Commission through the Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Programme (reference: AAL-2020-7-133-CP) from April 2021 to December 2023. Recruitment for the pilot RCTs started on January 2023 in Portugal, Austria, and the Netherlands and is currently ongoing. As of May 2023, we randomized 49 participants in the trials. We expect to complete the RCTs in September 2023. The results on the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of Anathema are expected in the second semester of 2023. We expect Anathema to be highly accepted by the populations under study; to prove feasible to scale up to parent RCTs; and to be potentially efficacious in improving sexual functioning, relationship and sexual satisfaction, sexual distress, sexual pleasure, and HRQoL in older adults, colorectal cancer survivors, and stroke survivors compared to treatment as usual in a waiting-list control condition. The study results will be published in open-access venues according to COREQ (Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research) and CONSORT EHEALTH (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials of Electronic and Mobile Health Applications and Online Telehealth) guidelines.


          The study results will inform the refinement and scale-up of Anathema. Anathema’s wider-scale implementation can potentially promote the sexual health of largely neglected user groups such as older adults, colorectal cancer survivors, and stroke survivors.

          International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID)


          Related collections

          Most cited references67

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Global cancer statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries

          This article provides an update on the global cancer burden using the GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Worldwide, an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) occurred in 2020. Female breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung (11.4%), colorectal (10.0 %), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (5.6%) cancers. Lung cancer remained the leading cause of cancer death, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18%), followed by colorectal (9.4%), liver (8.3%), stomach (7.7%), and female breast (6.9%) cancers. Overall incidence was from 2-fold to 3-fold higher in transitioned versus transitioning countries for both sexes, whereas mortality varied <2-fold for men and little for women. Death rates for female breast and cervical cancers, however, were considerably higher in transitioning versus transitioned countries (15.0 vs 12.8 per 100,000 and 12.4 vs 5.2 per 100,000, respectively). The global cancer burden is expected to be 28.4 million cases in 2040, a 47% rise from 2020, with a larger increase in transitioning (64% to 95%) versus transitioned (32% to 56%) countries due to demographic changes, although this may be further exacerbated by increasing risk factors associated with globalization and a growing economy. Efforts to build a sustainable infrastructure for the dissemination of cancer prevention measures and provision of cancer care in transitioning countries is critical for global cancer control.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Using thematic analysis in psychology

              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups.

              Qualitative research explores complex phenomena encountered by clinicians, health care providers, policy makers and consumers. Although partial checklists are available, no consolidated reporting framework exists for any type of qualitative design. To develop a checklist for explicit and comprehensive reporting of qualitative studies (in depth interviews and focus groups). We performed a comprehensive search in Cochrane and Campbell Protocols, Medline, CINAHL, systematic reviews of qualitative studies, author or reviewer guidelines of major medical journals and reference lists of relevant publications for existing checklists used to assess qualitative studies. Seventy-six items from 22 checklists were compiled into a comprehensive list. All items were grouped into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. Duplicate items and those that were ambiguous, too broadly defined and impractical to assess were removed. Items most frequently included in the checklists related to sampling method, setting for data collection, method of data collection, respondent validation of findings, method of recording data, description of the derivation of themes and inclusion of supporting quotations. We grouped all items into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. The criteria included in COREQ, a 32-item checklist, can help researchers to report important aspects of the research team, study methods, context of the study, findings, analysis and interpretations.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                27 June 2023
                : 12
                : e46734
                [1 ] Fraunhofer Portugal Center for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions Porto Portugal
                [2 ] Center for Psychology at the University of Porto Porto Portugal
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Cristina Mendes-Santos cristina.santos@ 123456fraunhofer.pt
                Author information
                ©Cristina Mendes-Santos, Ana Luísa Quinta-Gomes, Raquel Pereira, Priscila Vasconcelos, Pedro Nobre, Joana Couto, Ana Correia de Barros. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 27.06.2023.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 23 February 2023
                : 24 April 2023
                : 24 May 2023
                : 25 May 2023
                Custom metadata
                The proposal for this study was externally peer-reviewed by: Active and Assisted Living Programme - AGE Platform Europe - European Commission (Brussels, Belgium). See the Multimedia Appendix for the peer-review report;

                colorectal cancer,internet interventions,smartphone,older adults,participatory design,randomized controlled trial,stroke,survivors


                Comment on this article