Results of the CPD Sexual Health survey

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A few weeks ago we launched a survey open to all caregivers working in France, with the aim of creating a CPD action.

The survey, which is always accessible via this link, intended to define the training needs of health professionals on the topic of sexual health, both in form and in substance.

We have exceeded 300 responses and we warmly thank the respondents who were:

  • doctors (20%)
  • psychologists (20%)
  • nurses (10%)
  • midwives (5%)
  • other professions (45%)

Reminder: What is the CPD?

Continuous Professional Development (DPC) is a continuous training system aimed at all health professionals, replacing the old device called Continuing Medical Education (CME), which was reserved only for doctors.

To meet his CPD obligation, the healthcare professional must, each year, provide proof of at least 3 actions de DPC, including at least one action falling within the framework of the priority orientations provided for in article L. 4021-2.


A small mistake had slipped into the survey: it was indicated that the obligation of continuous professional development (CPD) of health professionals was 9 p.m. every 3 years.
In reality, it is:

  • 9 p.m. PER YEAR for doctors, podiatrists, midwives
  • 14h PER YEAR for dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, orthoptists, pharmacists
  • Thanks to the people who reported this error to us.

    DPC training is compensated by ANDPC (financed by URSSAF), i.e. the health professional receives financial compensation based on the time spent training, in compensation for the loss of earnings linked to the loss of activity relating to his training.

    Continuous training actions in face-to-face are compensated up to:

    • 45 € / h for doctors
    • 38 € / h for midwives
    • 33 € / h for physiotherapists and nurses

    Actions in distentiel (e-learning) are compensated up to:

    • 22 € / h for doctors
    • 19 € / h for midwives
    • 16 € / h for physiotherapists and nurses

    Preliminary results

    Investigation is always open. Here are the first results.

    Knowledge of health professionals regarding the training obligation

    First observation: 22% of health professionals who responded to the survey they do not know whether or not they are eligible for the CPD scheme. Some said they did not have no idea what steps to take to fulfill his CPD obligation.


    Biologists, nursing dentists, masseurs-physiotherapists, doctors, speech therapists, orthoptists, chiropodists, pharmacists and midwives, liberal or salaried, are all eligible for the CPD system.

    Subjects requested in sexual health

    The most requested themes are the most concrete and concern:

    • communication techniques to be comfortable when the patient brings up the subject of sexual intimacy,
    • obtaining sufficient self-confidence to discuss the subject with the patient,
    • screening and management of the most frequent sexual dysfunctions.

    Questions regarding Prep, TASP, HIV, STIs, abortion, disability etc. come last, which shows that it is necessary to start with training that correctly explains the basics of sexual health.

    In addition to the topics to be addressed, we also evaluated 2 other points: the type and the format preferred CPD.

    There are 4 types of DPC action:

    1. Continuing education (lecture + evaluation)
    2. The practice assessment process – EPP (supervision, Balint group, etc.)
    3. The risk management approach – DGR
    4. The Integrated Program (continuing education + EPP)

    Regarding the type of CPD, all caregivers are unanimous on the fact that the action of continuing education is their preferred type of DPC action.

    Regarding the format, there is a difference between the professions:

    • doctors are open to e-learning, but above all to a mixed format with:
      • 60% who want a mixed format (e-learning + face-to-face)
      • 30% who want exclusive e-learning
      • 10% who want exclusive face-to-face
    • physiotherapists and nurses are more interested in face-to-face with:
      • 60% mixed
      • 30% exclusive face-to-face
      • and only 10% exclusive e-learning.

    Face-to-face training more favors anecdotes and the clinic, where, in e-learning, the lecturers easily tend to be much more academic and to scroll through a very theoretical slide show.

    What’s more, the face-to-face promotes exchanges : it is possible to ask practical questions, or even to present a clinical case, to which the practitioner can give leads and answers, which can help the practitioner in his practice. Questions from brothers and sisters can also be useful for our own future practice.

    However, there are a number ofadvantages of doing e-learning training :

    • the possibility of following the training at your own pace, without time constraints
    • savings in terms of travel and accommodation costs
    • the largest possible choice in terms of training
    • the possibility of choosing training courses with experienced speakers (which it is sometimes difficult to arrange to travel locally)

    We have therefore decided to start with a deferred e-learning training course (without time constraints: it will be possible to follow it at your own pace), but in which the emphasis will be on clinical practice, with the possibility of interacting and ask questions via a forum / chat.

    In addition, the questions that will be asked by a participant will be anonymized and can then be consulted by the other participants in the form of a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ).

    Research and reflections

    We researched the sexual health-related CPD stock offering.

    To our surprise, there is a fairly large amount of training on this topic in the catalogs of CPD organizations.

    But we have also noticed that there is a huge disparity between the quality of e-learning training and the training that exists in person.

    • Training in e-learning currently proposed seem very poor quality, with unattractive subjects, led by caregivers who are, most of the time, not sexologists, or in any case whose initial clinic is not oriented towards sexual health (and therefore who will not offer tools practices but mainly theory).
    • Conversely, the CPD actions offered in person by organizations such asAIUS (Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Association of Sexology) and the SFSC (Société Française de Sexologie Clinique), generally on the occasion of their annual congress, will be carried out exclusively in face-to-face and extremely qualitative : they involve clinicians who have real experience and practice in sexology (doctors or health professionals recognized sexologists, members of various learned societies in sexology, etc.). The problem is that the topics covered are generally very specialized and sharp for general practitioners or nurses who have no theoretical or practical knowledge in sexual health. On the other hand, these are reference training courses for all caregivers who already have a sexology IUD.

    So there is a place for a CPD which is more qualitative that what currently exists in e-learning (for this you need a DPC designed by caregivers who address sexuality in their daily clinic and which offer practical tools and strategies rather than theoretical concepts), but at the same time more affordable for all than what learned societies offer.

    We have recently developed our own digital educational tools which features sex-specific diagrams and animations, such as the cycle of sexual response, diagrams of how erection and vaginismus work and also an animation explaining step by step how the ejaculatory reflex works with the impact on the body. ejaculation from different factors such as stress or oxytocyne. After watching this video, it is much easier to understand how to deal with someone who suffers from premature ejaculation or anejaculation.

    Finally, we had led several FMCs in the region where we work, near Montpellier, for doctors, and we had also given courses at the IFSI in Béziers to an audience of student nurses.

    We noted 3 things:

    1. Caregivers are often interested in this conference theme, and when a lab offers this subject, there are often many more people attending than with the usual themes (cardiology, nephrology, diabetes, etc.).
    2. Most of the caregivers have not received any training in terms of sexual health. They need simple training, but above all concrete advice and clinical cases.
    3. The fact of being in two (a doctor and a psychologist) a psychologist has always been very complementary during these trainings: it helps doctors, little sensitized to psycho, to understand the underlying psychological mechanisms and to do links between the organic and the psychic, which are intimately linked in sexuality.

    Our CPD training project

    We would like, as a first step, to create a CPD training of 7h00 en e-learning for general practitioners, nurses and physiotherapists, who will respond to their main concerns which are:

    For doctors:

    • Be comfortable when the patient brings up the subject (knowing the different types of sexuality, the model of the sexual response, the differences between gender and orientation, etc.)
    • Feel at ease to screen and approach the subject (know the frequency of sexual dysfunctions, the impact of chronic pathologies on sexuality and the sexo-deleterious side effects of the main drugs prescribed in the office).
    • Prescribe an IPDE-5 correctly (and avoid making the mistake 9 out of 10 physicians make).
    • Know the main stakeholders in sexual health and know when and to whom to refer a patient (eg: a physiotherapist for a vaginismus, a psychologist for the psychological repercussions and on the couple of a sexual disorder or a trauma, a sophrologist for a premature ejaculation, a urologist for Peyronie’s disease, a gynecologist for endometriosis, etc.)
    • Detect and manage the most frequent sexual dysfunctions (how to treat vaginismus, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunctions resistant to ipde-5).
    • To be able to modify a chronic treatment when this leads to sexual disorders with problems of therapeutic adherence.

    For nurses and physiotherapists:

    • Basic training elements such as those of doctors (anatomy, physiology) with specificities for these 2 professions:
      • Nurses : orient the training on awareness of listening, the care relationship, the couple, well-being and also how to protect yourself.
      • Physiotherapists : to approach the basic principles of the sexo-corporal techniques, which consist in particular, thanks to the movements of the body, to decrease the muscular tensions and are the basis of the treatment of certain sexual dysfunctions; insist on perineal rehabilitation techniques (which are often known to physiotherapists in the postpartum period but which require adjustment in the treatment of vaginismus).

    Let us know what you think in the comments of this article, or on our page Facebook !

    You can also subscribe to our training list if you specifically wish to be kept informed of the progress of our CPDs by filling out this form:

    Stay informed about sexual health

    Thanks for reading this article to the end!
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    Results of the CPD Sexual Health survey

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    Results of the CPD Sexual Health survey

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    Catherine Coaches