Mental health, sexuality and old age

Rosa Carla Gomes da Silva, Analisa Lia Silva Candeias, Silvana Sidney Costa Santos, Luís Octávio de Sá, Beatriz Rodrigues Araújo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the aging process, there is the emergence of various human answers in elderly people, and these answers need of a differentiated intervention. Sexuality, sexual health and mental health in elderly people have a relationship that awake the interest of health professionals and nurses. The objectives of this paper are: to understand to what extent sexuality during old age can be a field of attention of nurses; to explore the relationship existing between the experiences of sexuality of elderly people and the mental health; to propose a set of guiding principles for the practice related to this theme. This is a qualitative study from the opinions of nurses who were experts in the context of clinical practice/teaching. Content analysis was used. The corpus of analysis gave rise to categories that allowed us to infer that sexuality in old age is taken as a field that deserves the attention of nurses, and its balanced experience proves to be essential for the promotion and maintenance of mental health. The proposed interventions are focused on demystification, sensitization and empowerment of elderly people towards the information and abilities for the management of behaviors. The experts have considered that, through the nursing action focused on sexuality, sexual health and mental health, the elderly person benefits from effective health gains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing and Socioenvironmental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Elderly people
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual health
  • Mental health
  • Nursing


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