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Sexuality Assessment: 10 Strategies for Improvement

JoAnn M. Mick
CJON 2007, 11(5), 671-675 DOI: 10.1188/07.CJON.671-675

Although nurses are aware that assessing sexuality, diagnosing sexuality problems, and evaluating outcomes of interventions to address patients' sexuality concerns are part of holistic care, they often do not perform sexuality assessment in practice. Understanding sexuality as patients' perceptions of body image, family roles and functions, relationships, and sexual function can help nurses improve assessment and diagnosis of actual or potential alterations in sexuality. In addition, nurses should increase their knowledge and understanding of sexuality, identify available information and resources, apply practice standards, and develop a skill set to incorporate sexuality questions routinely in clinical assessments. This article provides 10 strategies to help address and validate patients' sexuality experiences and quality-of-life concerns. By promoting sexual health, nurses can help patients regain a sense of normalcy after cancer diagnosis and treatment. Holistic care is provided when nurses acknowledge the importance of sexuality in patients' lives.

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