Sexuality within stroke rehabilitation

Richards, Alexandra F. (2014) Sexuality within stroke rehabilitation. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

Post-stroke sexual difficulties are common but sexuality is an area frequently neglected within stroke rehabilitation. This study aimed to explore the process by which healthcare professionals approach and work with the topic of sexuality within stroke rehabilitation. This was hoped to improve understanding of why current guidelines around addressing post-stroke sexual issues are not followed, and what would support professionals to meet patients’ needs.
Ten healthcare professionals working within stroke rehabilitation were interviewed, covering a range of disciplines and settings. The data was analysed using grounded theory methodology. Fourteen major categories were co-constructed from participants’ data and a theoretical model was developed. Although the majority of participants rarely engaged with sexual issues, they adopted both direct and indirect strategies for engaging with the sexual concerns of their patients. Concerns were usually addressed through the provision of information and supportive conversation with a professional. Professionals’ own personal level of comfort with the topic of sexuality interacted with a series of barriers to limit opportunities for engaging with sexual concerns. These barriers included environmental factors relating to the context of stroke rehabilitation, professionals’ perception of lacking abilities and unhelpful attitudes towards patients and sexuality. Positive and inclusive attitudes towards sexuality and professional roles and building a strong therapeutic relationship facilitated professionals taking action.
The findings are considered in relation to existing guidelines and research, and the clinical implications for rehabilitation and staff training are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: stroke, rehabilitation, sexuality, sexual functioning, grounded theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behaviour
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0388.5 Cerebrovascular diseases. Stroke
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0930 Rehabilitation therapy
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2014 10:32
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 09:10
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12811

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00