• Dealing sensitively with sexuality in a palliative care context

      Woodhouse, Jan; Baldwin, Moyra A.; University of Chester (2008-01)
      Sexuality is integral to a person's identity and is encompassed in holistic palliative care. Current directives emphasize psychosocial support that is sensitive to a variety of issues, including sexuality, and offer community nurses the mandate to facilitate expressing sexuality. Nurses fail to address sexuality for a variety of reasons. Appreciating patients' individuality and avoiding making assumptions are some of the requirements to enabling expression of sexuality. Nurses need wisdom and determination to discuss such issues, and it is important that they recognize opportunities and cues as they arise. This article provides an examination of the issues surrounding sexuality outlining an approach that captures' constant attention to details. This guides the 'what', 'how' and 'why' sexuality in palliative care can be addressed. Ethics and safety aspects are briefly discussed and implications for practice suggested. Educating staff and focused education for the patient can positively influence sexuality and individuals' quality of life.