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Title: Patient perspectives and experiences of sexual health conversations and cardiovascular disease: A qualitative study
Contributor(s): East, Leah  (author)orcid ; Jackson, Debra  (author); Manias, Elizabeth (author); Dunning, Trisha (author); Hutchinson, Marie (author)
Publication Date: 2021-11
Early Online Version: 2021-04-30
DOI: 10.1111/jocn.15820
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Aim: This study aimed to explore the experiences of individuals discussing sexual well‐being with healthcare professions within the context of their cardiac illness to determine their sexual health information needs.

Background: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and known to have a detrimental impact on sexual health. Despite sexual health being recognised as a fundamental component of well‐being, it may be a neglected aspect of care within the context of cardiovascular disease.

Design: A qualitative exploratory study conducted in accordance with COREQ guidelines.

Methods: We conducted semi‐structured interviews with participants (n = 13) aged between 30–77 years who had been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease. Data were transcribed and subject to thematic analysis.

Results/findings: Analysis revealed two major themes--Sexual healthcare information and expectations: I expect them to tell me and Experiences of sexual adversity: it's really scary. Although participants expected and welcomed information in relation to their illness and sexual health, this was rarely received. Subsequently, when some participants experienced sexual adversity including erectile dysfunction, they felt anxious and distressed which impacted their intimated relationships. It was often when participants sought information associated with adversity that information was provided and this was primarily in relation to medication associated with assisting dysfunction.

Conclusion: Individuals who have cardiovascular disease may require sexual health care. Nurses are well placed to provide information and education associated with cardiovascular disease and associated sexual well‐being to promote positive outcomes for individuals and minimise distress around sexual adversity.

Relevance to clinical practice: Findings highlight the importance of providing clear and accurate information about sexual well‐being and function to patients experiencing cardiovascular disease. Provision of information should be considered an essential and routine aspect of care with patients being afforded opportunities to discuss concerns associated with their sexual well‐being.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(21-22), p. 3194-3204
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1365-2702
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920210 Nursing
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200306 Midwifery
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health

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