Comparison of cardiac rehabilitation and acute care nurses perceptions of providing sexual counseling for cardiac patients

Susan Barnason, Elaine Steinke, Victoria Mosack, David W. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the differences between outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and acute care nurses perceived barriers and clinical practices of providing sexual counseling for myocardial infarction patients. METHODS: A nonexperimental descriptive, comparative research design with convenience sampling was used to survey CR and acute care nurses using the Survey of Sexuality Related Nursing Practice-Myocardial Infarction questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 320 nurses (81 CR nurses, 239 acute care nurses), in midwestern states completed the survey. Using ANCOVA analyses with age, work status, and education level as covariates, findings demonstrated CR nurses had significantly higher levels of role responsibility (F[4, 315] = 5.4, P < .05) and implementation of sexual counseling in clinical practice (F[4, 315] = 9.1, P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study further elucidate the influence of practice settings on the actual implementation of patient education and counseling of cardiac patients regarding sexual functioning. Outpatient CR nurses reported fewer barriers and reported higher rates of implementing sexual counseling into their practice. These findings support the importance of CR referral to provide both physical and psychosocial rehabilitation after a cardiac event. Findings bring to light the need to address the gap in practice to meet the perceived unmet needs of patients regarding their concerns of sexual functioning while hospitalized and for those patients who may not enroll in CR after hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Acute care nurses
  • Cardiac patients
  • Cardiac rehabilitation nurses
  • Psychosocial counseling
  • Sexual counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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