Oral Presentation Joint 2016 COSA and ANZBCTG Annual Scientific Meeting

The Rekindle Study: an Australian randomised phase II study assessing feasibility of an online intervention to promote sexual wellbeing for both cancer survivors and their partners   (#87)

Haryana M Dhillon 1 2 , Kevin McGeechan 3 , Douglas Williams 4 , Phyllis N Butow 2 4 , Ilona Juraskova 5 , Kim Hobbs 6 , Frances M Boyle 1 , Judy Kay 7 , Annie Miller 8 , Catalina R Lawsin 9
  1. University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Psycho-Oncology Cooperative Research Group, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  5. Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  6. Crown Princess Mary Cancer Care Centre, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW, Australia
  7. School of Information Technology, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  8. Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, NSW, Australia
  9. RUSH Medical Centre, Chicago, Ill, USA


Many people diagnosed with cancer experience changes in sexual function due to disease and/or side effects of treatment. Long-term sexual changes can lead to psychological distress and reduced quality of life for survivors and partners. We developed Rekindle, a web-based psycho-educational intervention, to provide accessible, tailored psychosexual support to cancer survivors


Objectives: to determine acceptability, feasibility, and usability of the rekindle program


Methods (including type of data collected) 

The Rekindle study is a 3-arm phase II randomised control trial conducted over six months.

Treatment groups: Rekindle, Rekindle Plus (self-led plus 3 navigational support calls) and Attention Control.

The Rekindle intervention incorporates seven evidence-based modules empowering users to manage sexual changes, content is delivered via the internet as written information, video, tutorials, and exercises. Two modules are mandatory and five tailored to user’s sexual concerns. Rekindle is tailored to gender, patient/partner, single/partnered, and sexual preference requiring a total of 12 versions of materials, all subject to individualised prescription of modules. Attention control participants are provided written information via the internet during the first 10 weeks, then given access to Rekindle.


The primary outcome is percentage of prescribed modules completed and the secondary aim is to improve sexual satisfaction measured by PROMIS sexual satisfaction scale. 170 adult cancer survivors who completed primary cancer treatment 6-months prior to enrolment and/or their partners who identify at least one psychosexual unmet need are being recruited.


Results: To date 86 people have been randomised; participant age ranges from 22 to 80 years, 62% are men, 91% had cancer themselves, 72% are in a relationship, and 96% identify as heterosexual.  Participants have enrolled from across the country, with 60% from major cities, 23% inner regional areas, 14% outer regions, and 1% very remote.


Conclusions:  Rekindle enrolment to date highlights the extent of psychosexual unmet needs in Australian cancer survivors. Online strategies are encouraging.