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Anxiety, Comorbidity, Depression, Personal satisfaction, Self-efficacy, Sexual activity



  1. Steinke, Elaine E. PhD, APRN, CNS-BC, FAHA, FAAN
  2. Mosack, Victoria PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC
  3. Hill, Twyla J. PhD


Background: Changes in sexual satisfaction and sexual activity are often reported by cardiac patients, although factors influencing sexual adjustment are not well established. Knowledge of risk and protective factors can guide nurses in addressing physical and psychological needs of patients.


Objectives: We examined predictors of sexual self-perception and adjustment in a cross section of cardiac patients.


Methods: A nonexperimental, descriptive survey design was used to examine overall sexual self-perception and adjustment, sexual anxiety, sexual depression, sexual satisfaction, sexual self-efficacy, sexual activity, selected demographic factors, and 20 cardiac and noncardiac comorbidities using a mailed survey with a broad sampling of cardiac patients (n = 128). Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, t tests, and regression analysis.


Results: Fewer cardiac conditions and being sexually active were significant predictors of sexual self-perception and adjustment. Participants with hypertension reported more sexual depression; those with myocardial infarction had higher scores for both sexual anxiety and depression, and greater sexual anxiety occurred for those with peripheral artery leg bypass.


Discussion: Positive sexual self-perception and adjustment are linked to sexual activity and fewer cardiac problems. This finding can be used to inform decisions about initiating sexual counseling.