An exploration of the role of occupational therapists in addressing sexuality with service users post stroke

Heron, Jessica and Owen-Booth, Bethan (2021) An exploration of the role of occupational therapists in addressing sexuality with service users post stroke. British journal of occupational therapy. ISSN 1477-6006

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Introduction: Research suggests stroke negatively affects sexuality yet is rarely addressed by healthcare professionals. This study aims to explore occupational therapists’ perceptions of addressing sexuality post stroke with service users and whether they perceive it to fit into their scope of practice. Method: A qualitative study was undertaken following an inductive reasoning approach. Three occupational therapists working within stroke rehabilitation were purposively recruited. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed using in- ductive thematic analysis to generate four significant themes. Findings: Findings generated the following themes: (1) Acknowledging the impact stroke has on sexuality. (2) Consideration of the appropriate stage of the stroke journey to address sexuality; identifying home/community environments to be more appropriate, utilising a multi-disciplinary approach to facilitate this. (3) Barriers to addressing sexuality, including staff’s personal feelings, inexperience, limited resources and ageism. (4) Facilitators to addressing sexuality, including approaching the topic appropriately and utilising the role of occupational therapy and resources. Conclusion: This study highlights the gap in the stroke journey where sexuality lies and the role occupational therapists can play in closing this gap. Utilising facilitators such as resources and a multi-disciplinary approach can overcome barriers to practice including embarrassment, prejudice and inexperience.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Hayley Dennis
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2021 16:14
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2021 16:14

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