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Intimacy, cerebral vascular accident, stroke, stroke rehabilitation, rehabilitation nursing, sexuality, sexual dysfunction, sex education in old age



  1. Kautz, Donald D. PhD, RN, CNE, CRRN, ACNS-BC
  2. Van Horn, Elizabeth R. PhD, RN, CNE


Problem:: The sequelae of a stroke can negatively affect sex and intimacy for survivors and their partners.


Purpose:: This clinical article offers practical evidence-based recommendations for nurses to use in advising couples who may be experiencing sexual problems due to decreased desire, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, paraparesis, pain, spasticity, fatigue, aphasia, concrete thinking, emotional lability, shame, embarrassment, fear, depression, or neurogenic bladder.


Key Findings and Clinical Relevance:: Recent research and clinical articles show that intimacy and sexual concerns are often ignored by the rehabilitation team, yet research shows that couples want information to assist them to maintain their sexual relationships. Using the PLISSIT model to address sexual concerns, nurses can facilitate discussions to aid couples toward improved sexual function and quality of life.