Sexual Function in People With Disability and Chronic Illness by Ml. Sipski & CJ. Alexander; 1997; Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen; 651 pages
This is a comprehensive book representing the state-of-the-art in its field. The book, written by a husband and wife psychology and physician team, leaves no stone unturned in its coverage of sexuality in an ill or disabled population. It provides an in-depth presentation of sexuality as it manifests throughout the lifespan and within a variety of disabilities and chronic illnesses. It is aimed at a health care provider who is interested in gathering further information for the purposes of assessing and treating the sexuality of the disabled or ill patient. It may be useful to read in its entirety or as a desk reference for practitioners who frequently encounter changes in sexuality as a result of injury or disease.
An overview of the impact of disability and chronic illness on sexuality begins the book. The authors successfully explore the impact of disability and chronic illness on the many dimensions of being and discuss primary and secondary effects on sexual function. The physiological effects of injury and illness are masterfully accompanied by the social and psychological effects on sexuality function. This chapter begins the discussion of sexual assessment that follows in the next few chapters. Assessment tools are included. There is one chapter devoted to basic sexual function over time. Although this information is current and accurate, it is also brief. The information provided in this chapter is in no greater depth than what is found in gerontological textbooks.
The impact of medications on sexual function is known to exist. However, this text devotes an entire chapter to the specific classes of drugs and their implications for sexual function. As polypharmacy is a great concern for older adults, this chapter reveals information essential to gerontological nursing practice. The male and female perspectives on living with chronic illness illness are profoundly written from both subjective and objective perspectives to complete Section I of the book.
Section II of the book discusses the impact of specific illnesses and injuries on sexual function. These include: spinal cord injuries (SGI), multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebrovascular accidents, traumatic brain injury, neuromuscular diseases, arthritis and other connective tissue diseases, diabetes and amputation, cardiac and pulmonary disease, cancer, and sexual development of children and adolescents. With the possible exceptions of SCI, MS, and the final chapter, all of these chapters discuss diseases that occur frequently in older adults. Although the impact of the disease on the sexuality of older adults is not the focus of the section, the impact of the disease on overall sexuality is welcome information for those caring for patients with these diseases. As is the authors' style throughout the book, the implications of the disease for physiological, psychological, and social implications on sexual function are presented. Sexual assessment and treatment of each disease in terms of sexual functioning is explored thoroughly. The impact of limited research and the occurrence of death during sexual activity are among the interesting tidbits within the section. The final section of the book discusses specific sexual problems including male and female sexual dysfunction, infertility, and sexual abuse, as well as alternative sexuality and ethical issues.
This book provides too much information for a nurse who is merely interested in learning more about the sexual changes that occur with aging. This type of information is more easily obtained in recent gerontological texts. However, for nurses who frequently care for patients suffering from any of the injuries or illnesses Usted above, the insight, assessment tools, and intervention techniques in this book make it an essential reference.