Sexual Counseling Provided by Cardiovascular Nurses: Attitudes, Beliefs, Perceived Barriers, and Proposed Solutions

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Abstract

Background:

Although sex lives of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are affected in various ways and degrees, nurses working with these patients refrain from talking about sexual matters with their patients or encounter barriers trying to do so.

Objective:

The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify attitudes and beliefs of cardiovascular nurses regarding talking to their patients about sexual problems, perceived barriers, and proposed solutions.

Methods:

The sample included 170 nurses working for the cardiology and cardiac surgery departments of 1 university hospital, 2 ministry of health hospitals, and 2 private hospitals in Turkey. Data were collected between April and August 2015 through a 4-section questionnaire including the Sexual Attitude and Beliefs Scale. Descriptive, parametric, and nonparametric statistics were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Most (73.5%) reported not talking to their patients about sexual issues, and only 35.9% stated that they had been educated on how to do so. The major reason for nurses avoiding discussions about sex with their patients was not considering sexuality as a patient care priority (86.4%). Establishing privacy for the patient (91.2%) was the solution proposed by most nurses. The average score of the nurses on the Sexual Attitude and Beliefs Scale was only medium.

Conclusion:

Most of the nurses were untrained about how to talk about sexual problems with their patients and therefore were unable to talk about it freely.

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