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The PLISSIT Model: Care and Management of Patients' Psychosexual Needs Following Radical Surgery

Dixon, Krystyna Dobranowski RN, CWOCN; Dixon, Paul N. PhD


Patients who have undergone invasive medical procedures requiring radical body changes often experience feelings of worthlessness and particularly negative feelings about their sexuality. Their initial contact with the healthcare team is frequently a nurse who may be poorly equipped, too busy, or too embarrassed to help address the patients' sexual issues; therefore, vital information may be lost to the healthcare team. The PLISSIT Model offers nurses or case managers a concise framework for intervention to address patients' concerns at the earliest stages of their distress, and helps assure informed feedback to the healthcare team regarding the patients' sexual issues.

Krystyna Dobranowski Dixon, RN, CWOCN, is a Clinical Nurse Educator at Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, Raleigh, NC. In collaboration with case management, physicians, and other members of the healthcare team, she provides patient education and wound ostomy and continence care.

Paul N. Dixon, PhD, is a Professor of Human Development, The University of North Texas, Denton, and the author of more than 60 books, monographs, and articles reflecting a variety of interests including scale development, learning, and personality of children and adults, particularly as they relate to social interactions. His teaching experiences include courses in social and developmental psychology.

Address correspondence to Krystyna Dobranowski Dixon, RN, CWOCN, Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, 3400 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC 27609 (

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.