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.