• Myocardial infarction;
  • partner;
  • sexual activity;
  • sexual counseling;
  • social-cognitive theory

PURPOSE:  Individuals experiencing myocardial infarction (MI) report anxiety, depression, diminished quality of life (QOL), and reduced sexual activity.

DESIGN AND METHODS:  We examined return to sexual activity post-MI, and pilot tested a comprehensive sexual counseling intervention based on social-cognitive theory. The intervention in this pretest/posttest preexperimental study used an informational video, newsletters, and telephone counseling, with cardiac patients (N= 10) and partners (N= 3). Measures included QOL; knowledge; sexual anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and satisfaction.

FINDINGS:  At 8 weeks, only 60% had returned to sexual activity, with low QOL and sexual satisfaction for patients and partners.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  Supportive interventions by nurses are needed to assist MI patients and partners return to sexual activity.