Development of a Communication Instrument to Address Sexuality in COPD: COSY.

Steurer-Stey, Claudia; Dalla Lana, Kaba; Strassmann, Alexandra; Gonin-Spahni, Stefanie; Borgmann, Michelle; Brun Del Re, Ursina; Haas, Sebastian; Sarasin, Eliane; Burri, Andrea; Frei, Anja; Puhan, Milo A (2023). Development of a Communication Instrument to Address Sexuality in COPD: COSY. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, 10(2), pp. 148-158. COPD Foundation 10.15326/jcopdf.2022.0355

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Sexuality, an important aspect of quality of life (QoL), is often overlooked in COPD. Our aim was to develop an instrument that facilitates communication and counseling on sexuality in persons living with COPD. We searched for publications on sexuality in COPD focusing on communication about sexuality and communication tools to support such communication. We also performed a survey asking 25 patients and 36 health care professionals (HCP) about their attitudes, experiences, barriers and facilitators when talking about sexuality. The survey showed that although patients and HCP wanted to talk about sexuality, it rarely happened due to communication barriers, lack of self-confidence and misconceptions on both sides. We set up a project expert team of HCP and three persons with COPD. In a half-day workshop, the team discussed the results of the literature review and the survey as a basis for the contents, the "when and how" to address communication about sexuality and the design of the communication instrument. In review rounds of the expert team, feedback on the drafts was collected and integrated into the final version of the communication instrument COSY (COmmunication about SexualitY in COPD). The COSY instrument resulted in four tools: a communication leaflet, an application guide, a pictorial representation of the spectrum of intimacy for HCP and a comprehensible, picturized information booklet for patients. Addressing sexuality in persons living with COPD should not be neglected. The COSY instrument could help to start and shape communication and consultations about sexuality and a more holistic consideration of QoL.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Gonin-Spahni, Stefanie, Borgmann, Michèle


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




COPD Foundation




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

28 Feb 2023 14:16

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2023 00:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

COPD Sexuality chronic obstructive pulmonary disease communication development instrument intimacy patient centered




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