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January 1980

Sexual Concerns and Needs of the Postcoronary Patient's Wife

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, South Baltimore General Hospital (Dr Papadopoulos and Ms Larrimore) and University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Center for Research and Evaluation, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore (Ms Cardin and Dr Shelley).

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(1):38-41. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330130040014

• The sexual concerns and needs of 100 women whose husbands had suffered a myocardial infarction were studied. Thirty-one had considered the impact of myocardial infarction on their sexual life before discharge of their spouse from the hospital and all of them had thereafter. Only 45 of the wives received any sexual information before the spouse's discharge. Seventy-six couples resumed sexual activity after myocardial infarction; 24 (including 14 who tried and failed) did not. Concerns about inadequate sexual instructions, risk of sexual activity, sexual difficulties of the husband, change in sexual patterns, patient's symptoms during intercourse, and emotional relationship of the couples were demonstrated. Fear was not alleviated by information received, but was not important in preventing return to sexual activity; however, fear may have affected the frequency and quality of sexual activity. The need for more comprehensive counseling by physicians and nurses and for the wives to explore their sexual concerns became evident.

(Arch Intern Med 140:38-41, 1980)