ABSTRACT: We sought to examine the current practice of discussing sexual health by heart failure (HF) nurses, and to explore which barriers prevent nurses from discussing sexuality.
The Nurses' Survey of Sexual Counseling of Myocardial Infarction Patients and a list of barriers were used to form a questionnaire, which was sent to all HF clinics (n = 122) in the Netherlands.
The majority (75%) of nurses (n = 146) felt a certain responsibility to discuss patients' sexual health. However, in practice, 61% of the nurses rarely or never addressed sexuality. Barriers that prevented nurses from addressing sexuality and that differed between nurses who do (n = 58) and do not (n = 88) discuss sexuality include a lack of organizational policy (49% vs. 79%, respectively; P < .001) and lack of training (43% vs. 80%, respectively; P < .001), and not knowing how to initiate the subject (24% vs. 72%, respectively; P < .001). Nurses preferred to address sexuality during a follow-up visit or when discussing medication.
Although HF nurses feel responsible for discussing sexuality, this topic is rarely addressed in clinics. Several barriers were identified, relating to personal, patient, and organizational factors.
Heart & lung: the journal of critical care 06/2012; 41(5):492-9. · 1.04 Impact Factor