Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapy -- education; Occupational Therapy -- psychology; Sexuality
Sexuality is a broad term that can be used to encompass other terms such as sexual expression and sexual functioning, and can be defined as a holistic concept of the individual that is more than just physical sexual behavior but also relates to thoughts and feelings of everyday life (Couldrick, 1998a). Sexuality and sexual functioning are considered an activity of daily living (ADL) by the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (2008); however, it is a topic that is not being routinely addressed with clients by occupational therapists or other healthcare professionals (Hattjar, 2012). Studies show there is a significant lack of information given to clients in regard to sexuality, as well as dissatisfaction with the services that are provided for sexuality. This information implies an increase in knowledge, experience, and comfort levels with sexuality needs to be addressed with occupational therapists and occupational therapy students in order to treat clients in a holistic and client-centered manner.
A comprehensive literature review was completed to identify key aspects of sexuality. The literature review revealed a significant lack in student and practitioner confidence and competence in addressing sexuality in a clinical setting. After an extensive search regarding the topic of sexuality within the profession of occupational therapy it was found that much of the limited literature stems from the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, yet the literature from the 2000’s continue to address the same issues. Due to the reported low levels of comfort for occupational therapy students and practitioners regarding sexuality and the role occupational therapists play in addressing the subject with clients, the following product was developed. There was a dearth of the information and no evidenced-based articles were located regarding sexuality or how to teach about the topic.
The product created includes lesson plans that address different aspects of physical and/or psychosocial impairments that may impact sexuality. The product lesson plans consist of varying lectures, readings and activities, to be incorporated into several courses throughout the duration of an occupational therapy professional program. The goal of this product is to increase exposure to issues of sexuality and sexual functioning throughout the curricula of a Midwestern professional occupational therapy program in order to create competent and comfortable practitioners within the field.
Larson, Brittany L. and Stutz, Sarah R., "Integration of sexuality content into an occupational therapy curriculum" (2014). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 120.