Sociocultural factors have been shown to be important influencers of sexual health and sexuality. Hence, the aim of our study was to explore the views and experiences of family medicine trainees regarding female sexual dysfunction (FSD) with a focus on the barriers and facilitators towards the initiation of conversation on this topic. A qualitative study design involving semi-structured focus group discussions (FGDs) was conducted with 19 family medicine trainees in Malaysia. The conceptual framework used was based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. Thematic approach was used to analyze the data. Participants perceived FSD as being uncommon and unimportant. According to our participants, patients often presented with indirect complaints, and doctors were not proactive in asking about FSD. Three main barriers were identified: doctor factors, perceived patient factors, and system factors. Lack of confidence, knowledge, experience, time, and embarrassment were the key barriers identified at the doctors' level. Lack of awareness, among patients regarding FSD, and local cultural and religious norms were the perceived patient barriers. System barriers were lack of time and privacy. Various facilitators, such as continuous medical education and public forums, were suggested as means to encourage family medicine trainees to initiate discussion on sexual matters during consultations. In conclusion, family medicine trainees found it difficult to initiate conversation on FSD with patients. Interventions to encourage conversation on FSD should target this and other identified barriers.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.