Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Carla Wilhite


Mentally Ill Persons; Sexual Dysfunction, Psychological -- therapy


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of mental health occupational therapists about psychosocial treatment of sexual dysfunction with clients in psychiatric facilities.

Methods: Using qualitative methodology, student researchers interviewed six occupational therapists practicing in psychiatric settings as part of an exploratory study into the perceptions of clinicians about treatment of sexual dysfunction with people who have mental health disabilities. Semi-structured interviews utilized open-ended questions. Electronic recording of interviews was conducted and verbatim transcripts were created. Data was analyzed and emergent codes and themes were developed.

Results: Three themes emerged related to: scope of practice, perceived barriers, and client-centeredness during treatment in psychosocial practice.

Discussion: The results have implications for future practice among mental health practitioners treating sexual dysfunction. Occupational therapists agree it is within the scope of practice to address sexual dysfunction as it relates to the occupational therapy practice framework. However, therapists were not congruent about the actual implementation within their respective clinical practice settings. Treatment models that may be applicable to psychosocial settings are discussed.