This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Sexuality and Intimacy After Burn Injury. Dr. Radha Holavanhalli, researcher, discusses When & How Professionals Can Start the Conversation About Intimacy after Burn.

Radha Holavanahalli, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System

So I think it should be out in the conversation whenever possible or at any appropriate time. It does not have to be at the time of discharge, it does not have to be only when they come for a follow-up. It does not have to do, say, seven days from discharge or one month from discharge. There is no timing to it.

It can be brought up at any time. And I think that the professionals can actually use, they can use their judgement to bring up that conversation. And the professionals are also spending a lot of time, especially during wound care and during therapy, that’s a great time when they actually do have this conversation.

And they can go a little farther and like okay, how is your life, how is your family doing, how is your husband or wife or how is your partner doing? Depending on - they know what the situation is, so they can bring up that family living situation and engage in a conversation.

It can be - you can lead into sexuality and intimacy by talking about other things. So you’ve gone back home, how is everything, have you settled down? How is your family life, how are the children doing? How is your husband, has he talked to you about having a relationship or sexual intercourse or do you want to get back to it? Have you gone out on a date?

You know, there can be various ways in which they can bring it up and make it very normal. It can be a very normal conversation where neither the professional nor the patient or their significant other would feel uncomfortable. There should not be any fear or discomfort in bringing this topic up.

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