Presented by Dr William Levack
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fifth leading cause of years with disability worldwide. Management of COPD is therefore not just about survival; it is also about helping people with COPD live well, maximising quality of life in spite of the chronic nature of their condition. In this regard, sexual wellbeing is potentially an important, but often neglected, aspect of disease management. The aim of this session is to provide an overview of current knowledge on sexual wellbeing for people with COPD and the possible role of health professionals in helping people with COPD maintain or regain active and enjoyable sex lives. This session draws on a structured review of the literature investigating issues of prevalence, causes, and management of sexual problems associated with COPD. In general, people with COPD seem to experience more sexual problems on average than the general population, with these issues arising from hormonal, physiological, psychological, sociological, and pharmaceutical factors. In additional to medical interventions to aid sexual function, health professionals can provide support for people with COPD and their sexual partners regarding their sex lives through the provision of exercise therapy; advice on positioning, breathing efficacy, and energy conservation during sexual activity; and via education on sexuality and chronic condition management. The PLISSIT model provides a robust framework for helping therapists clarify their scope of practice when engaging with people who have COPD on matters to do with sexuality. The research on sexuality and COPD is grossly underdeveloped considering the potential importance of the subject. Regardless of age or severity of symptoms, people with COPD are capable of leading full and satisfying sex lives should they wish to do so. Doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals all can have a role in providing information and solutions to support them in this endeavour.
Go to 37:00 mins to view Talking about sex and COPD presentation.