Sexual Dysfunction in Chronic Renal Failure

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COVENTRY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Name: Lisa Gallard Cohort: February 2008 Module code and title: 363CPD Management of Chronic Kidney Disease Assignment Title: Sexual Dysfunction in Chronic Renal Patients Module Leader: Richard Flemming Word Allowance: 2500 +/- 10% Word Count: 2447 Date for Submission: 13th June 2008 The purpose of this essay is to look at the physiological aspects of sexual dysfunction in people with chronic kidney disease, in particular those who are receiving haemodialysis (HD). It will also discuss the differences of impact between male and female patients as well as exploring the treatments that are available. Until the 1960’s, chronic renal failure (CRF) was classed as a terminal illness for which there was no definitive treatment. The introduction of HD and renal transplantation gave a better outlook for patients with end stage renal failure (ESRF) and long term survival became well established. HD remains the most common treatment for patients with ESRF (Hoffart & Sharp 1991). Sexuality is a difficult topic for most people to discuss, even those without disabilities. The body is private, and sexual practices are not mentioned even among friends. Many people feel inadequate: they fear they are not attractive enough, tall enough, physically endowed enough - in other words - they have problems with their body image and their self-esteem in relation to how lovable and worthwhile they are (Palmer 2003). The importance of assessment and interventions related to sexual dysfunction has been acknowledged by the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) with the inclusion of "the expression of satisfaction with sexuality" as a standard of nursing care in 1988 (Brennan, Burrows-Hudson, Day, & Libonate, 1988) and in the 2005 guidelines for care, which state that "The patient
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