Sexual health care in family medicine.
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Although patients frequently present with sexual concerns, family doctors generally do not handle them well. Sexual issues may present in many ways: as specific concerns; as a component of non-sexual complaints or as a factor in relationship or marital problems. The family doctor must include sexual enquiry and counselling as part of overall health care, and in the management of illnesses. In order to be effective counsellors, physicians must examine their own attitudes, and become knowledgeable about sexuality and myths influencing sexual behavior, and skillful at interviewing and sexual history-taking. The family doctor can become adept at giving patients permission to discuss their sexuality, and at providing information and strategies to enhance sensual enjoyment and communication with partners. Small group training sessions incorporating discussion and role-playing effectively teach physicians skills and strategies in sexual counselling.
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