Preceptions of Sexuality by African Americans on Heodialysis

Stewart, Merry

Sexuality encompasses all that is male or female and all that is human. End-stage renal disease and the regimen associated with hemodialysis treatment have been particularly noted to affect one‟s sexuality. Additionally, the expression of sexuality in the context of one‟s self-identity and meaningful relationships has been suggested to influence effective adaptive behavior. Previous research related to dialysis and sexuality has focused on erectile dysfunction and treatment in males outside the United States. Little is known about the psychosocial effect of hemodialysis on sexuality – particularly in African Americans who make up a disproportionate percentage of chronic hemodialysis patients.


A middle-range model, the Sexuality Adaptation Model (SAM), derived from Roy‟s Adaptation Model is being used as a guiding framework in this qualitative descriptive study to provide an in-depth exploration of African Americans‟ perceptions of sexuality since being on dialysis. Specific aims are to identify African Americans‟ perceptions of the hemodialysis regimen on physical sexuality characteristics, personal identity, family-social roles, and intimate relationships as a man or woman.


Data is being collected by semi-structured interviews to identify focal, contextual, and residual stimuli (i.e. demographic variables, medical history, and perceptions regarding effects of hemodialysis on sexuality) along with coping responses and adaptive behaviors. The content of individual transcripts is being analyzed to isolate and code categories of emerging themes. The proposed sample for this study is 20 African American participants between the ages of 21 to 60 years. This sampling strategy allows an exploration of common and unique expressions related to sexuality across a broad range of demographically varied cases.


Preliminary themes will be presented.


This study may aid nurses to develop strategies to support both the American Nephrology Nursing Association's (ANNA) and American Nurses Association‟s (ANA) standard of care to promote satisfaction with sexuality.