French survey on the crossed needs on sexual health for chronic inflammatory rheumatism patients and healthcare professionals.Rheumatol Int. 2020 Sep; 40(9):1481-1491.RI
Patients with Inflammatory Chronic Rheumatic disease have approximately three times more sexual dysfunction than the healthy population. However, health professionals do not dare to discuss the subject with them, largely because they do not feel educated on the subject. To define the educational needs in the sexual health of health professionals involved in patient education and those of patients with Inflammatory Chronic Rheumatic disease. This French multicenter cross-sectional online study included health professionals involved in patient education and patients with Inflammatory Chronic Rheumatic disease. Two surveys were designed to assess, both of them the specific needs. They were filled out anonymously online with a secured server. The influence of professionals and patients' characteristics on their sexual health needs were tested. 57 health professionals and 239 patients answered. 71,6% of the patients reported sexual difficulties and 79,9% had never discussed them with health professionals. To facilitate discussion, the health professionals most often wanted a colleague specialized in sexual health in their team (59,7%) and access to tools (52,6%). The patients' primary expectations were psychological support (65.7%), information (51.9%), and referral to specialists if needed (43.1%). The topics the health professionals and patients considered most useful were adverse effects of treatment and impact of rheumatism on sexuality and body image. 70,2% of the health professionals felt they needed training. This survey demonstrates the need to offer educational training to health professionals designed to enable them to address and discuss sexual health issues and give their patients appropriate advice.