1. Dunn, Kathleen L. MS, RN, CRRN-A

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(1) To describe a model for CNS implementation of a sexuality counseling program for any patient population; (2) To describe specifically the program developed by the author at the SCI Center at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.



Sexuality is often an area of concern for persons with chronic illness and disability, but is often not comprehensively addressed in healthcare settings. The CNS can serve as both change agent and care provider in this area.



Patients with chronic disease and disability often express interest in information about sexuality issues, yet often find that physicians and other providers are uninformed, uncomfortable with the topic, and insensitive to these needs. Programs, both to develop staff competence and to provide services, should be developed in any healthcare setting that provides services to such populations.



Development of competence in sexuality counseling by the CNS, development of basic competence in staff (nursing and others), development of resources and referrals, screening of patients, provision of services, and evaluation of outcomes.



Description of a CNS-developed functioning sexuality education and counseling program at the VA San Diego Healthcare System SCI Center.



Sexuality education and counseling programs can be provided by CNSs in a variety of settings using several different models.