Physical activity, a core intervention in cardiac rehabilitation, can reduce vascular erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a common sensitive problem for men with cardiac diseases, decreasing their quality of life. Cardiac health professionals rarely provide information about ED or its relation to physical activity. Developing health professionals’ communicative component of the complex intervention ‘Physical Activity to reduce Vascular Erectile Dysfunction’ (PAVED) is important. Understanding the receiver needs is essential in designing a complex intervention.
To elucidate men’s perspectives on cardiac health professionals’ communication about PAVED.
An Institutional Data Protection Agency approved the study.
An interpretive data-driven thematic analysis was applied to individual, qualitative semi-structured interviews with 20 Danish men attending cardiac rehabilitation.
The men wanted health professionals’ communicating about ED, as it was perceived as a major problem diminishing masculinity and tabooed by health professionals. Men wanted help for self-help, which may be possible with the aid of competent health professionals’ communication about how to prevent, reduce and cope with ED – including information about PAVED. The men wanted health professionals’ communication about ED in various contexts: general information in groups, sexual counselling for individuals and couples and written material.
Recruitment was done from a Danish municipality’s cardiac rehabilitation, and the transferability of the results may be limited to similar contexts.
Erectile dysfunction was experienced as a major biopsychosocial problem for the men and their partners. The men had a need for health professionals’ communication about sexuality, ED and information about PAVED as well as about prevention, reduction and management of ED. The men had a need for professional communication about sexual health.

© 2021 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic College of Caring Science.