Abstract 13773: Changes in MI Specific Sexual Counseling by Cardiac Nurses
Introduction: Although the literature addresses content for sexual counseling, it is unknown to what extent this is translated into cardiac nursing practice and how sexual counseling has changed over time.
Aim: To examine changes in practice of MI specific sexual counseling among cardiac nurses from 1994 to 2009.
Methods: Cardiac nurses surveyed regarding sexual counseling in 2009 (N=320) were compared to those surveyed in 1994 (N=171). In the 2009 sample, 81 cardiac rehabilitation nurses were represented, allowing comparisons to this group. MI specific sexual counseling items were the same for each survey (Survey on Sexuality Related Nursing Practice-MI), allowing direct comparison of changes in practice. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Slight improvements were noted from 2009 compared to 1994 for nurses' availability (89% vs. 83%), comfort (80% vs. 77%), and knowledge (77% vs. 76%) in discussing sexual concerns, while responsibility to discuss declined (76% vs. 78%). Rehabilitation nurses felt more responsible (83%), but rated comfort (78%) and knowledge (67%) lower than the overall sample. For MI specific items, differences between samples and comparisons to cardiac rehabilitation nurses (CR) are illustrated (Figure). Improvements in sexual counseling over time occurred for all items, with cardiac rehabilitation nurses more likely to provide certain content. Men received sexual counseling more frequently than women at both time periods (2009: 41% vs. 33%; 1994: 28% vs. 18%). Younger (age 20 to 35) and older (75 and older) patient groups remain the least likely to receive counseling.
Conclusion: Some improvements in sexual counseling of MI patients have occurred over time, but many patients are unlikely to receive sexual counseling. Innovative programs must be developed to assist cardiac nurses in becoming more comfortable and knowledgeable in sexual counseling, thus contributing to patients improved quality of life.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.