Barriers and Promoting Strategies to Sexual Health Assessment for Patients With CADs in Nursing Practice

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Izzeddin A. Abu Bdair, RN
School of Nursing, Clinical Nursing Department, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Background: Sexual health is an important and integral part of human health. Sexual health problems are prevalent among patients with heart disease. Coronary artery diseases have a negative physiological and psychological influence on patients' sexual health. Patients often have certain concerns regarding their sexual health after experience coronary artery diseases. Nurses often face many barriers to address patients' sexual health assessment in practice. Many sexual health instructions and guidelines have been developed to assist nurses to take an active role about sexual health assessment. Despite that, nurses still pay little attention to sexual health assessment.
Purpose: The purposes of this literature review was to identify the main barriers and promoting strategies to sexual health assessment in clinical nursing practice.
Design: A thorough and comprehensive search of the recent literature related to barriers and promoting strategies to sexual health assessment was undertaken.
Methods: A review of literature on a wide variety of recent studies in nursing and related discipline in the field of sexual health over the last ten years. 
Findings: Most studies indicated that sexual health is poorly addressed in clinical settings. Barriers to addressing sexual health are multifactorial. There are 26 barriers that classified into four categories: patients related barriers, nurses related barriers, academic and health care organizations related barriers and value related barriers. These barriers as reported in literature include lack of knowledge, confidence, comfort in sexual health assessment, and perceived that sexual health in not nursing responsibility. Many strategies to enhance sexual health assessment and counseling in clinical setting are summarized. Ongoing education and training and understanding nurses' perspectives are essential to empower them to address patients' sexual health assessment more routinely. Establishing a specialized and private rooms for sexual health assessment is an important step to facilitate sexual health assessment. Furthermore, nurses can provide patients with educational materials about sexual health including resuming time, safety, effect of medications and warning signs. It clear documented that selection the appropriate time for sexual health assessment such as discharge time or follow up visits can significantly improve patients' sexual health assessment.
Conclusion: Overall, it is evident that nurses encounter many barriers to sexual health assessment. Therefore, investigating these barriers and developing culturally appropriate interventions are highly recommended.