Survey on the experiences, attitudes, and training needs of Australian healthcare professionals related to sexuality and service delivery in individuals with acquired brain injury

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Abstract

Following acquired brain injury (ABI), sexuality, self-esteem and practices are often negatively impacted. Whilst sexuality is recognized as an essential part of a person’s life regardless of medical condition, it is poorly understood in the ABI rehabilitation context. This study examined current assessment and treatment practices for sexual health and wellbeing in ABI rehabilitation, including perceived barriers and facilitators to discussing sexuality with individuals after ABI. We also assessed the need for further education and training in this area. Two hundred and thirty-nine Australian healthcare professionals predominantly working with both traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke populations completed an online survey comprising thirty-four questions. The 12-item sexuality attitudes and beliefs survey (SABS) was included as an additional objective outcome measure. Findings suggest that healthcare professionals infrequently raise sexuality with individuals with ABI. Inadequate education and training, not knowing whose role it is and when to raise the topic, and the view that individuals with ABI will ask for the information were all identified as key barriers contributing to poor sexuality management after ABI. More education and training opportunities with greater access to resources are needed to facilitate the incorporation of sexuality into routine practice across the continuum of ABI care.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 2021

Keywords

  • Brain injuries
  • Neurosexuality
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sexuality
  • Training

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