Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Communication; Disabled Persons; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Sexuality
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the comfort level of occupational therapists addressing sexuality with clients in physical disability clinical settings in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. A secondary intention of this study was to explore why or why not OTs are addressing sexual issues with their clients, and if therapists are addressing sexual issues, what resources are utilized.
Methods: A non-experimental design pilot study was conducted to explore the comfort level of occupational therapists addressing sexual issues with clients in physical disability settings. A mixed-methods, triangulation survey design was used to gather data from occupational therapy participants in physical disability settings. Participants completed a 16 question Likert scale survey which also included comment boxes to provide opportunity for participants to further expand on answers. 45 occupational therapists from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin completed the survey. Following data collection, statistical analysis was completed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)© Version 19. Qualitative data was analyzed by developing codes, forming categories and finally establishing themes based on the participants comments.
Conclusions: The results of the study indicate that there are occupational therapy clinicians who are addressing the issue of sexuality with their clients in physical disability settings. The occupational therapists' comfort level, educational background, continuing education and/or access to available resources does have an impact on whether she or he will address sexual issues with clients in physical disability settings. Occupational therapists are reporting a lack of education/literature on how to address sexual issues with their clients in physical disability settings. Even though there was a small sample size of male participants in this study, the results indicate that gender does not have a significant impact on occupational therapists comfort and education/literature available on the topic of addressing sexual issues with clients in physical disability settings. An increase in years of experience has an impact on clinicians comfort addressing sexual issues with clients in physical disability settings, however years of experience does not have a significant impact on the education/literature available on this topic.
Farkas, Lindsay and Reynolds, Elizabeth, "Sexuality: the Missing Activity of Daily Living: A Pilot Study" (2012). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 212.