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Do doctors treating obesity integrate sexual health problems in daily patient-managment _ self-assessment results at the annual congress of the Austrian Society of Obesity_Vienna, October 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Langer, F2; Kottmel, A3; Körbel, TH4; Bitzer, J5; Teleky, B6; Prager, G7; Lechleitner, M8

1: Medical University Vienna, Austria; 2: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin f. Surgery, Austria; 3: Private Practise for Gynecology and Sexual Medicine, Austria; 4: Medical University, Austria; 5: Private Practise, Swiss; 6: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin.f.Surgery, Austria; 7: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin. f. Surgery, Austria, President of the Austrian Society for Bariatirc / Metabolic Surgery; 8: Public Hospital Hochzirl, Tirol, President of the Austrian Society for Obesety, Austria

Introduction: Obesity and its comorbidities have a well-known impact on sexual health and function in men and women. Thus we wanted to analyze in Austria whether doctors treating obese patients integrated patients’ sexual health issues in disease-management.

Method: 13 of 92 doctors participated at the annual Austrian congress of obesity, October 2017 in the survey (return rate 15%). They self-assess their routine and the integration of sexual health topics via 24-item-questionnaire addressing the management of obese patients including sexual health and demographic data.

Results: 80% of the participants were female. No one had a special training in sexual medicine. 50% of the doctors asked up to 20% of the patients about sexual health issues. 80% assessed the topic was addressed by 21-40% of the patients. 50% of the doctors rated 61-80% of the patients having troubled sexual health without talking about it to the patients. They suggested the reasons for patients not addressing these issues: other topics were more important (90%), lack of time (60%), language-barrier (40%), patient’s culture (3). The doctors considered in these cases sexual problems should be mentioned: andro-/menopause (80%), prevention, concrete diagnoses, rehabilitation (each 30%). At most 30% of the doctors referred obese patients to other specialties in case of troubled sexuality. Only 10% of the doctors evaluated medications’ side-effects on sexual function. Thus 50% of the doctors considered to be of help for up to 20% of the obese patients in Austria. Medical doctors evaluated factors for reduced success of patients’ treatment: lack of doctors’ training in sexual medicine, lack of professional sexual-medicine network for cooperation, patients’ age (each 40%), patient’s culture and patients’ lack of motivation (each 30%),

Conclusion: In Austria 60% of the medical doctors treating obese patients don’t talk about sexual health to the patients. 80% of the doctors don’t offer any kind of sexual-medicine treatment, only 10% re-evaluate the prescribed medication. At most 30% of them refer patients to other disciplines for specialized treatment of sexual health issues. 60% of obese patients do not address sexual health issues when seeing the doctor. There’s a huge gap between sexual health issues suggested by the doctors, the professional sexual-medicine expertise provided by the doctors treating obese patients in Austria.


Work supported by industry: no.

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