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Addressing Sexuality Among People Living With Chronic Disease and Disability: A Systematic Mixed Methods Review of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Health Care Professionals.

Authors
  • McGrath, Margaret1
  • Low, Michelle Anne2
  • Power, Emma3
  • McCluskey, Annie4
  • Lever, Sandra5
  • 1 Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Australia)
  • 2 Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; The StrokeEd Collaboration, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 Graythwaite Rehabilitation Centre, Ryde Hospital, Sydney, Australia; Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery (Sydney Nursing School), Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
102
Issue
5
Pages
999–1010
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.09.379
PMID: 33045226
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To systematically review health care professionals' practices and attitudes toward addressing sexuality with people who are living with chronic disease and disability. Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, and MEDLINE were searched to August 2020 for English language publications. Reference lists of relevant publications were also searched. Eligible studies reported on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of health care professionals about addressing sexuality in the context of chronic disease and disability. The search yielded 2492 records; 187 full texts were assessed for eligibility and 114 documents were included (103 unique studies). Study quality was rated using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Characteristics of included studies were recorded independently by 2 authors. Differences were resolved through discussion or by a third author. A sequential, exploratory mixed studies approach was used for synthesis. Pooled analysis showed that 14.2% (95% CI, 10.6-18.9 [I2=94.8%, P<.001]) of health professionals report routinely asking questions or providing information about sexuality. Professionals reported limited confidence, competence, and/or comfort when initiating conversations about sexuality or responding to patient questions. Sexual rehabilitation typically focused on the effect of disease, disability, and medication on sexual function. Broader dimensions of sexuality were rarely addressed. Despite recognizing the value of sexuality to health and well-being, most health professionals regardless of clinical context fail to routinely include assessment of sexuality in their practice. Professionals have limited knowledge and confidence when addressing sexuality and experience significant discomfort when raising this topic with people living with chronic disease and disability. Multicomponent implementation programs are needed to improve health professionals' knowledge, competence, and comfort when addressing sexuality for people living with chronic disease and disability. Crown Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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