Cardiac rehabilitation staff views about discussing sexual issues with coronary heart disease patients: A national survey in Ireland
Murphy, Andrew W.
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Doherty, S., Byrne, M., Murphy, A.W., McGee, H.M. (2011) 'Cardiac rehabilitation staff views about discussing sexual issues with coronary heart disease patients: A national survey in Ireland'. European Journal Of Cardiovasvular Nursing, 10 :101-107.
Background: While a healthy sexual life is regarded as an important aspect of quality of life, sexual counselling from healthcare providers for cardiac patients has received little attention in the literature. Aim: To document current practice and assess the needs of cardiac rehabilitation service providers in Ireland with regard to sexual assessment and management for patients. Methods: Cardiac rehabilitation staff in all relevant centres in Ireland responded to a postal questionnaire. Sexual health management was assessed by a series of questions on current practice, staff attitudes, beliefs and perceived barriers to discussing sexual problems. Results: Staff (N=60; 61% response rate) reported a lack of assessment and counselling protocols for addressing sexual health problems, with little or no onward referral system available. Results also suggest staff believe that patients do not expect them to ask about their sexual concerns. Barriers reported included an overall lack of confidence (45%), knowledge (58%) and training (85%). Conclusion: Development of guidelines, assessment protocols and training for cardiac rehabilitation staff are essential in the area of sexual health problems in order to improve the quality of services for patients with coronary heart disease.