Document Detail

What we don't talk about when we don't talk about sex: results of a national survey of U.S. obstetrician/gynecologists.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22443146     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Sexuality is a key aspect of women's physical and psychological health. Research shows both patients and physicians face barriers to communication about sexuality. Given their expertise and training in addressing conditions of the female genital tract across the female life course, obstetrician/gynecologists (ob/gyns) are well positioned among all physicians to address sexuality issues with female patients. New practice guidelines for management of female sexual dysfunction and the importance of female sexual behavior and function to virtually all aspects of ob/gyn care, and to women's health more broadly, warrant up-to-date information regarding ob/gyns' sexual-history-taking routine.
AIMS: To determine ob/gyns' practices of communication with patients about sexuality, and to examine the individual and practice-level correlates of such communication.
METHOD: A population-based sample of 1,154 practicing U.S. ob/gyns (53% male; mean age 48 years) was surveyed regarding their practices of communication with patients about sex.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported frequency measures of ob/gyns' communication practices with patients including whether or not ob/gyns discuss patients' sexual activities, sexual orientation, satisfaction with sexual life, pleasure with sexual activity, and sexual problems or dysfunction, as well as whether or not one ever expresses disapproval of or disagreement with patients' sexual practices. Multivariable analysis was used to correlate physicians' personal and practice characteristics with these communication practices.
RESULTS: Survey response rate was 65.6%. Sixty-three percent of ob/gyns reported routinely assessing patients' sexual activities; 40% routinely asked about sexual problems. Fewer asked about sexual satisfaction (28.5%), sexual orientation/identity (27.7%), or pleasure with sexual activity (13.8%). A quarter of ob/gyns reported they had expressed disapproval of patients' sexual practices. Ob/gyns practicing predominately gynecology were significantly more likely than other ob/gyns to routinely ask about each of the five outcomes investigated.
CONCLUSION: The majority of U.S. ob/gyns report routinely asking patients about their sexual activities, but most other areas of patients' sexuality are not routinely discussed.
Janelle N Sobecki; Farr A Curlin; Kenneth A Rasinski; Stacy Tessler Lindau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-03-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of sexual medicine     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1743-6109     ISO Abbreviation:  J Sex Med     Publication Date:  2012 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-07-11     Completed Date:  2013-03-08     Revised Date:  2014-09-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101230693     Medline TA:  J Sex Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1285-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude of Health Personnel
Data Collection
Gynecology* / methods,  statistics & numerical data
Middle Aged
Obstetrics* / methods,  statistics & numerical data
Physician's Practice Patterns / standards,  statistics & numerical data
Physician-Patient Relations*
Sex Factors
Sexual Behavior
Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
United States
Grant Support
1 K23 AT002749/AT/NCCAM NIH HHS; 1K23AG032870-01A1/AG/NIA NIH HHS; 5P30 AG 012857/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG032870/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AG032870-01A1/AG/NIA NIH HHS; K23 AT002749/AT/NCCAM NIH HHS; K23 AT002749-01A1/AT/NCCAM NIH HHS
Comment In:
J Urol. 2012 Oct;188(4):1265-6   [PMID:  22971395 ]

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