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Screening in works for ‘taboo’ cardiovascular disease side-effect

An Australian researcher is looking to open up conversations about the link between cardiovascular disease and sexual dysfunction.

Dr Leah East, a senior lecturer with Deakin University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, aims to develop a sexual health and wellbeing tool to help “break the silence on sexual health”.

“Sexual health is often seen as a taboo topic by healthcare professionals and patients alike, so many people are suffering in silence,” East said. “Being treated for cardiovascular disease should not come at the expense of an active and fulfilling sex life.”

East said research has highlighted that patients want and welcome information and care associated with their sexual health and wellbeing, but added these needs are often not met. “Providing health professionals with a screening tool would enable routine screening to identify possible problems and assist in providing appropriate sexual health care.”

In order to develop the tool, East is looking for people aged over 18 years who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease to speak about their experiences. Health professionals have also been invited to be part of the study and to share their views on sexual health and the essential elements in providing sexual healthcare to patients.

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