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The CHARMS Study: cardiac patients' experiences of sexual problems following cardiac rehabilitation
National University of Ireland, Galway.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin.
National University of Ireland, Galway.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin.
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2013 (English)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 1474-5151, E-ISSN 1873-1953, Vol. 12, no 6, 558-566 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:Sexual problems are common among cardiac patients. Further information is required on patients' experiences of sexuality and preferences for sexual counselling.

Aim:To characterise sexual dysfunction and related factors among patients following cardiac rehabilitation and examine related treatment delivery.

Methods:Telephone interviews with 382 patients (32% response rate) recruited from six hospital rehabilitation centres.

Results:Seventy-nine per cent were male; average age was 64 years (SD 9.8). Forty-seven per cent of the total sample reported no sexual relations in the previous year, and nearly a half of sexually active respondents reported at least one sexual problem. Erectile dysfunction (reported by 33%) and lack of interest in sex (reported by 10%) were the most common problems for men and women respectively. Twenty-three per cent reported that sex had deteriorated for them since their cardiac event, and for half of these this was considered a serious problem. In logistic regression analysis, higher anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and being male were associated with reporting a sexual problem (χ(2) = 37.85, p<0.001). Sixty-six per cent reported that sex was never discussed by a health professional and satisfaction with this aspect of care was low. Patients wanted these issues to be addressed and the majority (63%) claimed they would find it easy to discuss sexual problems with a health professional.

Conclusions:Sexual inactivity and sexual problems are common in this group. Health professionals should address sexual issues with their patients, ideally in a private setting and within the broader context of addressing psychological wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 12, no 6, 558-566 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99819DOI: 10.1177/1474515113477273ISI: 000327637600009PubMedID: 23389480OAI: diva2:658282
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-10-21 Last updated: 2014-01-15

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Jaarsma, Tiny
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