Explaining the Challenges of Sex Education in Midwives and General Practitioners: a Qualitative Study


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: Although sexual health assessment is required for health care providers and sexual rights are a human right, only 2% of general practitioners pay attention to the sexual issues of their patients. Most international studies have reported a lack of clinical knowledge and skills in sexual conversations among treatment workers. This study aimed to explore the challenges of sexual education to midwives and general practitioners.
Materials and Methods: This study is qualitatively based. For data analysis, a combination of Hsieh, Shannon, Graneheim, and Lundman methods was used. As part of this study, 14 midwives and 13 general practitioners at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences were selected through targeted sampling. The data collection methodology was carried out through in-depth, one-on-one, and in-person interviews. The MAXQDA software version 10.0 was used in the data analysis.
Results: In an inductive process, 38 codes were revealed in nine sub-categories, two categories, and a theme. The theme "lack of clinical knowledge and skills regarding women and sex" emerged from the conclusions of the study. Most of the participants indicated a lack of adequate training or poor formal or informal training programs. The participants' experiences in this area consisted of two sub-categories: "inefficiency of informal education programs", and "inefficiency of formal clinical education programs for women and sex".
Conclusion: Barriers to sexual conversation among midwives and general practitioners are associated with inadequate access to effective education programs and ineffective formal education programs at universities.