Intimacy and Rheumatic Diseases


Arthritis-Care Center at Baptist Hospital, 300 20th Avenue North, Suite G1, Nashville, TN 37203


During patient education, the issue of intimacy, as much as medications and the disease process, needs to be addressed by the rehabilitation nurse. Adequate information usually is not provided because patients, nurses, and physicians may avoid discussing sexual matters. Healthcare professionals may feel uncomfortable, may lack specific knowledge about sexual relationships, or may be too task oriented. In this article, the author explains that intimacy involves more than just sexual intercourse and explores the role that intimacy plays in how a patient copes with a chronic illness such as a rheumatic disease.