“can’t do certain things, you can’t have sex some nights…I don’t feel up for it”
Video provided by Prof. Lorraine Smith and Ms. Daniela Eassey, University of Sydney.
Intimacy and sexual function are important aspects of life. The World Health Organisation (WHO 2002) states that irrespective of disease or disability, being able to achieve good quality, adequate sexual function and sexual quality of life is a basic human right. The definition of sexuality encompasses not just the physical act of intercourse but also the complex manifestation and accumulation of appearance, emotional connection, relationships, personal expression and identity.
Health care professionals (HCPs) often have perceptions of chronically ill participants as being non-sexual, and often assume that due to physical restrictions they are unable or unwilling to participate in sexual-related activity (Scullion 2009). This is in contrast to the views of those with asthma. In a survey-based study, people with asthma rated sexual activity as the third most important activity to them, out of 19 listed activities (Meyer et al. 2002). In the same survey, 58% of participants indicated limitations in sexual functioning due to their asthma (Meyer et al. 2002). Yet, sexual dysfunction remains a taboo topic.
Key physical limitations:
Key personal limitations:
How to support individuals with severe asthma: