Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Professional Role; Sexuality
INTRODUCTION: The responsibility to address sexual activity is not clearly delineated to one certain healthcare profession, and therefore it often goes unaddressed (Rimmer et al., 2010). In addition, there is an overall lack of literature regarding the extent to which healthcare providers understand the role of occupational therapy in addressing sexual activity.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to explore 1) how healthcare providers (physical therapists, occupational therapists, and registered nurses) perceive role delineation when addressing patient concerns about sexual activity 2) the level to which physical therapists and registered nurses believe sexual activity is outlined in the scope of occupational therapy.
METHODS: A nonexperimental, prospective, 20-question quantitative survey was distributed to 126 healthcare providers (physical therapists, occupational therapists, and registered nurses). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 24® to determine significant relationships.
RESULTS: There was a response rate of 30.2% (n=38). The results indicated that occupational therapists and registered nurses considered sexual activity to be outlined in their own scope of practice to some degree, while physical therapists did not. Professions outside of occupational therapy are uncertain about occupational therapy’s role in addressing sexual activity.
Identifying which professions feel sexual activity is a part of their scope of practice may lead to increased inclusion of sexual activity in treatment, clearer referral pathways, and a better understanding of interdisciplinary role delineation.
Friederichs, Brooke and Isaacson, Olivia, "Sexuality and Healthcare: the Perceptions of Providers Regarding Role Delineation: Are Occupational Therapists Overlooked?" (2017). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 351.