Get access

A review of the psychosocial issues for nurses in male genitalia-related care


  • Yu-Li Zang BMed (Nursing), MMed (Cardiovascular Surgery),

  • Loretta YF Chung PhD, RN,

  • Thomas KS Wong PhD, RN

Yu-Li Zang
School of Nursing
Shandong University 44 Jinan Wenhua West Road Jinan Shandong China 250012
Telephone: +86 531 88380705


Aim.  This literature review aimed to highlight psychosocial issues for nurses in the practice of male genitalia-related care so as to guide the improvement of the teaching and practice of male genitalia-related care.

Background.  Male genitalia-related care is common in hospitals and in the community. In several conditions, e.g. incontinence, postradiotherapy or following operation for cancer of genitalia, bladder, colon or rectum, patients will require male genitalia-related care. Patients who require male genitalia-related care may encounter psychosocial and/or sexual dysfunction. In the holistic approach to men's health, nurses are expected to meet patients’ psychosocial and sexual needs, while the literature suggests that nurses’ perceptions and attitudes in providing certain male genitalia-related care, e.g. genital hygiene, sexual counselling, are negative.

Method.  Systematic literature review.

Conclusion.  Issues surrounding male genitalia-related care for nurses are complicated and may be related to privacy, intimacy, sexuality, dirty work and emotional discomfort. Age, gender, race and social class could compound these issues.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses’ negative perceptions, responses and attitudes towards male genitalia-related care may exacerbate patients’ conditions under which male genitalia-related care is required. Appropriate strategies should be developed to overcome these problems.