BACKGROUND: Sexuality is an important factor influencing quality of life that may be altered for patients with coronary disease. Little is known about the extent to which patients want their cardiologists to counsel them about sexuality.
PURPOSE: Our study evaluated the extent to which patients with known coronary disease expect cardiologists to discuss matters related to sexuality. A secondary goal was to determine the extent to which patients' preferences correspond to the realities of clinical practice.
RESULTS: On the basis of the results of a questionnaire survey completed by 48 women and 188 men with known coronary disease in an outpatient cardiology practice, we found that most patients believed that their cardiologist should talk with them about sexual functioning. However, only a minority (3% men, 18% women) believed that they were adequately informed about their sexual functioning. Chart review demonstrated that most discussions occurred with male patients and that sexual dysfunction was also more likely to be discussed with men (43%) than with women (13%).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that patients welcome the chance to talk with their cardiologist about sexual function. More attention should be given to this aspect of quality of life, especially for women with coronary disease.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_goldberg/115/