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Research Article Open Access
Background: The approach to nursing should be characterized by a holistic view of the human being which includes sexual health. From a nursing perspective, it is therefore of most importance to have a dialogue about factors associated with sexual health also among hospitalized patients. However, to our knowledge there is a lack of qualitative studies regarding nurses attitudes about dialogue with patients about sexual health.
Objective: To investigate nurses attitudes towards dialogue with hospitalized patients about sexual health.
Methods: A qualitative method was used and interviews were conducted which then were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Eleven registered nurses were included, the inclusion criteria was: at least one year of experience as a nurse and working on a medical or surgical ward in a hospital in the southwest of Sweden. The participants were in the ages 25-65 and had worked as nurses between 2 and 30 years. Nine of the participants were women. The data were collected during 2011.
Results: The nurses experiences of and reflections on dialogue with patients about sexual health were presented as a single main theme: Nurses challenges to support hospitalized patients with sexual health issues. This theme had three categories: Feeling uncomfortable, Feeling inadequate and Task-oriented care with related subcategories respectively.
Conclusions: Nurses attitudes towards their dialogues about sexual health with hospitalized patients were less challenging if they were initiated by the patients or if the patients were men with medical causes related to sexual health. Lack of knowledge and support from colleagues became reasons why nurses felt inadequate about discussing sexual health with their patients.