Aims. This study was designed to investigate Chinese female nurses’ perceptions of certain male genitalia-related care and the influence of their demography and experiences on their perceptions.
Background. Several physical conditions, in which male genitalia-related care is required, have been found to have considerable negative impact on male patients, leading to decreased quality of life and psychosocial and sexual dysfunctions. Available studies suggest that Chinese female nurses’ conduct during the provision of male genitalia-related care is negative. However, the evidence is weak with respect of the degree of Chinese nurses’ negativity and what the contributory factors may be.
Methods. Chinese female nurses in nine units in five hospitals were surveyed. Of 378 returned questionnaires, 312 were usable, and 138 contained textual comments. Numerical data were analysed using spss14.0, and textual data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results. The majority of participants had never performed genital wound care, perineal area shaving, perineal hygiene, suprapubic and urinary catheterisation. More than half preferred only bladder irrigation and washout to be performed by nurses and preferred the other male genitalia-related care to be performed by a male. Participants tended to agree meatal cleansing, perineal area shaving, perineal hygiene and urinary catheterisation were embarrassing, awkward and intrusive, but to disagree that they were sexual, dirty, stigmatising or having an impact on the male patient’s sexual health.
Conclusion. This study suggests that Chinese female nurses play limited roles in the practice of male genitalia-related care, but their perceptions of such care are not negative.
Relevance to clinical practice. Given the increasing move of Chinese female nurses to other countries, sexuality, sexual harassment, privacy and the constraints of traditional Chinese beliefs on sexuality over professional nursing conduct should be emphasised in clinical training programmes.