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Stroke survivors report loss of sexual desire, blurred gender roles, anger and fatigue
Date:6/18/2009

Suffering a stroke can have a profound effect on relationships and lead to significant changes in how couples relate to each other on a physical, psychological, social and emotional level, according a study in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Researchers from Northern Ireland have come up with four key recommendations for clinical practice after speaking to 16 married stroke survivors, nine males and seven females, aged between 33 and 78.

They found that sexual relationships were significantly affected after a stroke, gender roles became blurred and feelings like anger and frustration were confounded by a lack of independence and ongoing fatigue.

"All the participants perceived stroke as a life-changing event" says Hilary Thompson, who is based at Mullinure Hospital, Armagh, and carried out the research with Dr Assumpta Ryan from the School of Nursing and Institute of Nursing Research at the University of Ulster.

"They faced a continuous daily struggle to achieve some sense of normality and that required huge amounts of physical and mental effort" adds Hilary, a nurse specialist, who earlier this month won the Patient's Choice Award at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2009 for the support she provided to the family of a stroke survivor.

Key findings included:

  • Sexual relationships changed. A 35 year-old female stroke survivor summed up the general feeling well. "It's not a husband and wife role anymore" she said. "It's a carer and a patient and it's not very pleasant and it's not fair."

  • All but one of the respondents reported a reduction or total loss of sexual desire after their stroke. Some felt that this was down to medication and fear of another stroke. As one 61 year-old male told the researchers "I want her there now as a friend but not really as my wife."

  • Most of the females lost interest in their appearance, regardless of thei
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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