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Peggy Kleinplatz concludes her editorial on sexuality and older
people by telling doctors to ask "every patient, regardless of age" if
they have "any sexual concerns."
Great, I have already been told to ask patients about their drinking,
gambling, depression or other mental health problems, spousal violence etc
etc. Now I should also ask if they have any sexual concerns.
I actually spend most of my consultations dealing with problems
patients bring to me. Often somatic symptoms require enquiry regarding
psychological issues which I consider part of my remit. At that stage I
am usually running late and do NOT have time for fishing expeditions for
Let's have a moratorium on telling doctors to ask about ever
increasing numbers of problems and educate patients to raise their own
concerns, be they physical,sexual, social or psychological with their
doctor. We can then use our time more efficiently in dealing with the
patient and their problems.