Let’s talk about sex(ual) wellbeing! Staff perceptions of implementing a novel service for people with Multiple Sclerosis

Laura Jarvis (Lead / Corresponding author), Kevin McConville, Sonia Devereux, Jonathan O'Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: In people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), a complex interplay of neurological dysfunction, polypharmacy and psychological issues, contrive to impair their sexual and reproductive wellbeing. Realising an unmet need, the Tayside MS service in collaboration with a sexual health clinician (LJ), established a ‘Pelvic Health Clinic’ to improve quality of life for PwMS.

Objective: To explore clinician's perceptions of implementing an MS Pelvic Health service with a view to establishing future outcomes for health care professionals about the utility in such a service. Method: In this small-scale qualitative case study, we explored clinician's perceptions of such a clinic adjunct. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed, and thematically analysed in a reflexive manner.

Results: Five participants consented. Ten sub-themes emerged, which were organised into three main themes: service tensions, patient needs and practitioner feelings.

Conclusion: Clinicians highly valued the new MS ‘pelvic health clinic’. Knowing that there was a service available empowered clinicians to ask patients about sexual health needs. Specific referral criteria may help further develop the service and improve patient care. Staff welcome training and support in this area or the option to signpost onwards; either mechanism lends itself to enhancing MS patient needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal: Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • quality of life
  • symptomatic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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