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Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure : perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders

Anneleen Baert, Pieter Vynckier (UGent) , Sofie Pardaens (UGent) , Delphine De Smedt (UGent) , Johan De Sutter (UGent) , Dirk De Bacquer (UGent) and Els Clays (UGent)
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Abstract
Background Although heart failure (HF) patients often consider sexual activity as an essential aspect of their quality of life (QoL) and are usually uncertain if it is safe to perform sexual activity, this topic is overall poorly addressed in clinical practice. Aims The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions and practices of Flemish caregivers. Methods Healthcare providers were recruited through convenience sampling and filled in an adapted version of the UNITE Sexual Counselling Instrument. Several relevant network structures in Flanders were used to distribute the questionnaires-online as well as on paper-to healthcare workers being involved in the care to HF patients. Results Results of 180 participants indicated that 51.5% of the healthcare providers have never provided sexual counselling in HF patients. Being male, having a masters' degree, having more than 10 years of experience in cardiovascular disease, working in an ambulatory care department and having more positive attitudes were independently associated with a higher provision of sexual counselling in practice. Conclusion Although healthcare providers perceive it as their responsibility to discuss patients' sexual concerns, these issues are not often addressed in daily practice. Increasing knowledge in healthcare providers and specific practical training in providing information on sexual activity in HF patients are recommended. Further studies are needed to investigate how sexual counselling can be provided in agreement with HF patients' expectations and needs.
Keywords
General Medicine

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MLA
Baert, Anneleen, et al. “Sexual Counselling in Patients with Heart Failure : Perceptions and Current Practice by Healthcare Providers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol. 75, no. 5, 2021, doi:10.1111/ijcp.14063.
APA
Baert, A., Vynckier, P., Pardaens, S., De Smedt, D., De Sutter, J., De Bacquer, D., & Clays, E. (2021). Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure : perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, 75(5). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.14063
Chicago author-date
Baert, Anneleen, Pieter Vynckier, Sofie Pardaens, Delphine De Smedt, Johan De Sutter, Dirk De Bacquer, and Els Clays. 2021. “Sexual Counselling in Patients with Heart Failure : Perceptions and Current Practice by Healthcare Providers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE 75 (5). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.14063.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Baert, Anneleen, Pieter Vynckier, Sofie Pardaens, Delphine De Smedt, Johan De Sutter, Dirk De Bacquer, and Els Clays. 2021. “Sexual Counselling in Patients with Heart Failure : Perceptions and Current Practice by Healthcare Providers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE 75 (5). doi:10.1111/ijcp.14063.
Vancouver
1.
Baert A, Vynckier P, Pardaens S, De Smedt D, De Sutter J, De Bacquer D, et al. Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure : perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE. 2021;75(5).
IEEE
[1]
A. Baert et al., “Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure : perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol. 75, no. 5, 2021.
@article{8695137,
  abstract     = {{Background Although heart failure (HF) patients often consider sexual activity as an essential aspect of their quality of life (QoL) and are usually uncertain if it is safe to perform sexual activity, this topic is overall poorly addressed in clinical practice.

Aims The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions and practices of Flemish caregivers.

Methods Healthcare providers were recruited through convenience sampling and filled in an adapted version of the UNITE Sexual Counselling Instrument. Several relevant network structures in Flanders were used to distribute the questionnaires-online as well as on paper-to healthcare workers being involved in the care to HF patients.

Results Results of 180 participants indicated that 51.5% of the healthcare providers have never provided sexual counselling in HF patients. Being male, having a masters' degree, having more than 10 years of experience in cardiovascular disease, working in an ambulatory care department and having more positive attitudes were independently associated with a higher provision of sexual counselling in practice.

Conclusion Although healthcare providers perceive it as their responsibility to discuss patients' sexual concerns, these issues are not often addressed in daily practice. Increasing knowledge in healthcare providers and specific practical training in providing information on sexual activity in HF patients are recommended. Further studies are needed to investigate how sexual counselling can be provided in agreement with HF patients' expectations and needs.}},
  articleno    = {{e14063}},
  author       = {{Baert, Anneleen and Vynckier, Pieter and Pardaens, Sofie and De Smedt, Delphine and De Sutter, Johan and De Bacquer, Dirk and Clays, Els}},
  issn         = {{1368-5031}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE}},
  keywords     = {{General Medicine}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{5}},
  pages        = {{8}},
  title        = {{Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure : perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.14063}},
  volume       = {{75}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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