Explaining Perceptions and Experiences of Midwives and General Practitioners of the Barriers Facing their Sexual Conversations with Postmenopausal Women: A Study of the Mediating Role of Subjective Norms


1 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Student Research Committee, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.


Background: The number of domestic studies to identify subjective norms for improving the quality of sexual education programs is limited. The aim of the present study is to explain the perceptions and experiences of midwives and general practitioners of subjective norms affecting the sexual conversation with postmenopausal women.
Materials and Methods: This is a qualitative study. A combination of Graneheim & Lundman and Hsieh & Shannon methods was used for data analysis. A total of 14 midwives and 13 general practitioners were selected by purposive sampling. Data collection was performed using in-depth semi-structured individual and face-to-face interviews. The data were analyzed using MAXQDA (version 10).
Results: At first, 183 initial codes were extracted from the 27 interviews with midwives and general practitioners. The similar codes were then merged and finally, 25 codes were emerged in three categories and eight subcategories during the inductive process. Data related to subjective norms were placed in three main categories: "expectation of understanding religious and cultural sensitivities (by family and society)", "expectation of providing services based on respect for privacy and the principle of confidentiality", and "expectation of scientific and professional performance".
Conclusion: Midwives and general practitioners did not hold sexual conversations under the influence of various legal or natural persons in the society such as menopausal clients themselves, patients' spouses, professional/organizational rules and regulations, university security officers, colleagues, family, judicial authorities, and superiors.