Chris Quinn, RN, DAS (Nurs), Cert PN, Grad Dip (MHN), PhD Candidate.
Talking about sex as part of our role: Making and sustaining practice change
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors; International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2012 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 231–240, June 2013
How to Cite
Quinn, C., Happell, B. and Welch, A. (2013), Talking about sex as part of our role: Making and sustaining practice change. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 22: 231–240. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00865.x
Brenda Happell, RN, RPN, BA (Hons), Dip Ed, B Ed, M Ed, PhD.
Anthony Welch, RN, RPN, Dip App Sci, BN, B Ed, M Ed, PhD.
- Issue published online: 25 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 12 AUG 2012
- Gold Coast Hospital Foundation
- educational intervention;
- mental health;
Sexual issues are common for consumers of mental health services and have many adverse consequences for quality of life as well as impacting negatively on the mental illness itself. Nurses in mental health settings are well placed to assess for the presence of and provide interventions for sexual concerns. To date, little research has been undertaken to explore nurses' attitudes and whether sexual issues would be accepted as part of their care. This paper presents findings from the third stage of a qualitative, exploratory research study with mental health nurses working in an Australian mental health service. The findings from the first two stages suggested that the participants had tended to avoid discussion of sexual issues, but a brief education intervention had produced a greater willingness to address sexual issues as part of care. The aim of the third stage was to determine the degree to which changes in practice had continued over time. Two main themes that emerged from this data were: (i) holism, from rhetoric to reality; and (ii) part of what I do. Addressing sexual issues became part of practice, a change sustained 2 years following the intervention, because participants recognized its importance for holistic nursing care.