, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 263-273

Opinions of Individuals Who have had Myocardial Infarction About Sex

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Abstract

This study was conducted as a descriptive and qualitative research to understand the opinions of individuals who have had myocardial infarction about sex, the impact of the disease on their sexual lives and their counseling needs. The study included 200 patients registered in a cardiology department of a university hospital while the study population consisted of 32 patients meeting the eligibility criteria of the study. The qualitative data of the study were collected by addressing a total of 12 questions in the Individual In-depth Interview to the study population. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to explore sexuality. In data analysis stage, digital voice records were transcribed first, then these transcripts were combined with observation notes and the raw data were processed for content analysis. As a result of the content analysis, 10 themes were formed: “Sex Is Everything”, “Sex Is Private and It Cannot be Talked About”, “Heart Disease Has a Negative Impact on Sexual Life”, “Age Matters in Sex”, “Sexual Activity Is Beneficial to the Heart”, “Fear of Having a Heart Attack during Sexual Activity”, “Spouses (Female) Lacking Sexual Appetite”, “Sex Is the Expression of Strength,” “Turkish Women Don’t Refuse to Have Sex with Their Husbands” and “Health Personnel Don’t Talk with Patients about Sex”. According to the findings from this study, the patients who had myocardial infarction stated that sex was a basic need and their sexual lives were affected negatively due to the fear of having a heart attack but they could not talk about their sexual problems with health professionals. It is recommended that patients be provided with settings where they can comfortably express their sexual problems, their sexual functions be assessed and considered in patient care planning and sessions about protection of sexual health be covered more during patient education.