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Do doctors in angiology/ vascular medicine tackle sexual health problems in patients' routine-treatment in Austria - survey on doctors self-assessing daily routine at the international Angiologic Academy Vienna-Berlin, Vienna, June 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Kottmela, A2; Körbel, TH3; Bitzer, J4; Teleky, B1; Koppensteiner, R5

1: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin. f. Surgery, Austria; 2: Private Practice in Gynecology and Sexual Medicine; 3: Medical University Vienna, Austria; 4: Private Practice, Switzerland; 5: Medical University Vienna, Head of Univ.Clin. f Angiology, Austria

Introduction: Vascular and blood vessel related diseases, the fields of angiology/ vascular medicine and vascular surgery, do have a huge impact on sexual health and function scientific results show. Therefore we analyzed whether doctors dealing with prevention, diagnoses and treatment the circulatory and lymphatic system integrate sexual health issues in daily patient-management in Austria.

Method: At the annual international Angiologic Summer-Academy Vienna-Berlin, Vienna, June 2017, 9 of 59 doctors (return rate 15%) participated in this pilot-study self-assessing the integration of sexual health in daily treatment via standardized self-assessment-survey.

Results: 56% of the doctors were female, 44% male, professionally active in university hospital (44%), public hospital, practice (33% each) and private hospital (11%), specialized in internal medicine, angiology and vessel surgery. 22% of theses didn’t address sexual health issues, 33% talked to up to 20% of the patients. 33% weren’t asked by patients about sexual health, 56% of the doctors were consulted by up to 20% of the patients . 67% of the doctors self-assessed that they did have no considerations about patients’ sexual health issues. Lack of time (78%), other topics more important (67%) and language barrier (56%) were evaluated being the main 3 reasons why patients did not bring up sexual dysfunctions. Occasions to address the topic actively by doctors were: concrete diagnoses (78%), andro-/menopause (67%), before surgery (56%), rehabilitation (44%). The doctors cooperated with some specialists concerning sexual health issues: andrologists (56%), urologists, gynecologists, internal medicine (44% each) and physical therapists (33%). 44% of the doctors evaluated patients’ medications’ side-effects impact on sexual dysfunction, 33% each provided information on the physiology of sexual function and referred patients to other specialists.

Conclusion: Only 33% of the doctors had concerns about sexual dysfunctions. The majority of the patients were not asked about sexual issues. Professionally designed training concepts in sexual medicine are needed to increase knowledge and skills as well as awareness concerning prevention, diagnoses and treatment of sexual health issues caused by vessel diseases. An inter-professional network for treating sexual dysfunctions in vessel diseases needs to be established. These preliminary results need to be confirmed with bigger population sample.


Work supported by industry: no.

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