Sexuality at the end of life

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. Jan-Feb 2004;21(1):33-9. doi: 10.1177/104990910402100109.


There is very little research literature that addresses sexuality at the end of life. Although end-of-life care has become a priority for nursing education, the issue of end-of-life sexuality is not included in the curriculum. Nurses are frequently in a position to establish relationships with couples that encourage a frank discussion and information sharing. As patient advocates, nurses can address end-of-life sexuality issues by taking a sexual history and implementing a general intervention model, such as the PLISSIT. Couples need to be reassured that if they have enjoyed a close sexual relationship, sexual intimacy may continue to be part of their relationship, even at the end of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / nursing
  • Nursing Care / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / nursing*
  • Sexual and Gender Disorders / etiology
  • Sexual and Gender Disorders / nursing
  • Sexuality*
  • Terminal Care / methods*