Aim The authors’ aim is to improve the sexual health education given to paediatric cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. As part of this, the authors assessed the effectiveness of the current service by questioning the adult CF patients to establish their level of understanding of sexual health issues in relation to CF. They were also asked at what age they felt it appropriate to discuss sexual health and family planning, who should be involved in this discussion and whether it should become part of their routine care.
Method All adult patients attending a regional CF centre were asked to complete a confidential questionnaire in the presence of the auditor or by post. The questionnaire contained 30 questions covering issues related to sexual health.
Results 31 patients completed questionnaires, 15 females and 16 males.
When asked at what age sexual health should be introduced the females answered 10 to 16 years and the males answered puberty to 18 years. Seventy three percent of females and 75% of males thought that it was the responsibility of the CF team to educate patients on these issues. Eighty per cent of females thought sexual health should become part of routine care compared to 38% of males.
Conclusion This audit has highlighted a general lack of understanding of the impact of CF on reproductive health. The CF team needs to take responsibility in the education of patients and their parents about sexual health and family planning. It should become part of routine care and start at an age appropriate for the patient. The discussions should involve a member of the CF team with whom the patient has a trusting relationship.