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Addressing patients sexuality - a survey of Danish health professionals attitudes, beliefs and practice

Stokholm, MK1; Skovsgaard, RK1; Maimburg, RD1; Laursen, BS2

1: Aarhus Universityhospital, Denmark; 2: Aalborg Universitetshospital, Denmark

Objectives: To explore multidisciplinary health professionals’ attitudes towards and experience with addressing patients disease-related sexual issues at a University hospital in Denmark. Including the effect of relevant education on barriers towards these issues.

Material and Methods: A self-constructed questionnaire including SABS (Sexuality Attitudes and Beliefs Survey) and a modified version of a questionnaire from a Norwegian multidisciplinary study, was administrated to 836 nurses, doctors and midwives across 7 different wards at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

Results: 97,3% of all the respondents (n=385, 46% response rate) considered the subject sexuality relevant in the treatment offered to patients within their field. 88% of midwifes replied to a large extend. Lack of time was the main barrier towards addressing the issue. Midwives had significantly fewer barriers towards addressing patients sexuality compared to nurses (p<0,001) and doctors (p<0,001). 18% of the respondents had relevant education within sexuality. Health professionals with relevant education had significantly fewer barriers (p<0,001) and addressed sexuality more frequently than those without. 65% of the health professionals identified a need for relevant education.

Conclusions: Danish health professionals find sexuality relevant within patient care. Relevant education is significantly effective on reducing barriers and is according to the health professionals needed within all fields.


Work supported by industry: no.

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