Beyond Sexual Assessment: Lessons Learned from Couples Post Radical Prostatectomy

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PurposeTo share selected experiences of advanced practice nurses (APNs) who implemented a home-based nursing protocol related to psychosexual function for couples following radical surgery for prostate cancer.Data SourcesSelected research-based articles, the PLISSIT Model for sexual rehabilitation counseling, and the authors' experiences.ConclusionsFive lessons related to communicating about sexuality and intimacy were synthesized from the experience, including examining knowledge and selfawareness regularly, using a structured interview guide to facilitate the process, developing a trusting relationship with the couple, attending to verbal and nonverbal cues, and providing information about the full range of sexual expression.Implications for PracticeInclude an assessment of sexual health as an integral part of a general health assessment. Patients do not generally volunteer information about their sexual concerns unless the subject is introduced by the APN.

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