Healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness: A mixed-methods evidence synthesis

Seán R O'Connor, John Connaghan, Roma Maguire, Grigorios Kotronoulas, Carrie Flannagan, Suniel Jain, Nuala Brady, Eilís McCaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To explore healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual health and wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness.

METHODS: Five databases were searched and included data were synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Confidence in findings was assessed using the GRADE-CERQual framework. Searches, extraction and quality assessment procedures were conducted independently by at least two authors.

RESULTS: Concepts extracted from 30 included studies were used to develop a conceptual framework based on five overarching themes. These were [1] individual and societal attitudes to sex and sexual wellbeing [2], patient specific factors [3], organizational and professional factors [4], strategies to overcome barriers in practice and [5] perceived training needs. Healthcare professionals acknowledged the importance of discussing and providing support for sexual wellbeing needs, but recognized it is not routinely provided.

CONCLUSIONS: While patient specific factors and organizational issues such as lack of time were frequently identified as barriers, intra-personal and social perceptions appear to have the strongest influence on healthcare professional perspectives.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Brief education and tools to support healthcare professionals to have effective conversations with patients are required. These should address social barriers, normalise sexual issues, and support healthcare professionals to initiate discussions around sexual concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-863
Number of pages14
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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Chronic Disease
Delivery of Health Care
Social Perception
Reproductive Health
Databases
Education

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Cite this

O'Connor, Seán R ; Connaghan, John ; Maguire, Roma ; Kotronoulas, Grigorios ; Flannagan, Carrie ; Jain, Suniel ; Brady, Nuala ; McCaughan, Eilís. / Healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness: A mixed-methods evidence synthesis. In: Patient Education and Counseling. 2019 ; Vol. 102, No. 5. pp. 850-863.
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Healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness: A mixed-methods evidence synthesis. / O'Connor, Seán R; Connaghan, John; Maguire, Roma; Kotronoulas, Grigorios; Flannagan, Carrie; Jain, Suniel; Brady, Nuala; McCaughan, Eilís.

In: Patient Education and Counseling, Vol. 102, No. 5, 05.2019, p. 850-863.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness: A mixed-methods evidence synthesis

AU - O'Connor, Seán R

AU - Connaghan, John

AU - Maguire, Roma

AU - Kotronoulas, Grigorios

AU - Flannagan, Carrie

AU - Jain, Suniel

AU - Brady, Nuala

AU - McCaughan, Eilís

N1 - Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

PY - 2019/5

Y1 - 2019/5

N2 - OBJECTIVES: To explore healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual health and wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness.METHODS: Five databases were searched and included data were synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Confidence in findings was assessed using the GRADE-CERQual framework. Searches, extraction and quality assessment procedures were conducted independently by at least two authors.RESULTS: Concepts extracted from 30 included studies were used to develop a conceptual framework based on five overarching themes. These were [1] individual and societal attitudes to sex and sexual wellbeing [2], patient specific factors [3], organizational and professional factors [4], strategies to overcome barriers in practice and [5] perceived training needs. Healthcare professionals acknowledged the importance of discussing and providing support for sexual wellbeing needs, but recognized it is not routinely provided.CONCLUSIONS: While patient specific factors and organizational issues such as lack of time were frequently identified as barriers, intra-personal and social perceptions appear to have the strongest influence on healthcare professional perspectives.PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Brief education and tools to support healthcare professionals to have effective conversations with patients are required. These should address social barriers, normalise sexual issues, and support healthcare professionals to initiate discussions around sexual concerns.

AB - OBJECTIVES: To explore healthcare professional perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexual health and wellbeing with patients after diagnosis of chronic illness.METHODS: Five databases were searched and included data were synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Confidence in findings was assessed using the GRADE-CERQual framework. Searches, extraction and quality assessment procedures were conducted independently by at least two authors.RESULTS: Concepts extracted from 30 included studies were used to develop a conceptual framework based on five overarching themes. These were [1] individual and societal attitudes to sex and sexual wellbeing [2], patient specific factors [3], organizational and professional factors [4], strategies to overcome barriers in practice and [5] perceived training needs. Healthcare professionals acknowledged the importance of discussing and providing support for sexual wellbeing needs, but recognized it is not routinely provided.CONCLUSIONS: While patient specific factors and organizational issues such as lack of time were frequently identified as barriers, intra-personal and social perceptions appear to have the strongest influence on healthcare professional perspectives.PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Brief education and tools to support healthcare professionals to have effective conversations with patients are required. These should address social barriers, normalise sexual issues, and support healthcare professionals to initiate discussions around sexual concerns.

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