Sexual issues of the disabled: Implications for public health education

Low, Wah Yun and Tunku Zubir, Tunku Nor Taayah (2000) Sexual issues of the disabled: Implications for public health education. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 12 (Sup.). S78-S83. ISSN 1010-5395,

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Sexuality of persons with spinal cord injury has received increased attention especially in the Western countries. However, in the local context, studies pertaining to the sexuality of the disabled are almost nil. This paper utilized a qualitative approach in assessing sexual knowledge, attitudes and practices of persons with spinal cord injury. Eight focus group dicussions consisting of 28 adult spinal cord injured persons were carried out. The results showed that the frequency of sexual activity decreased following injury. The disabled themselves have a negative self-concept and a low self-esteem and this affects their attitudes towards sexuality and their sexual behaviour. Health care professionals tend to neglect this issue perhaps due to their insensitivity to the sexual needs for the disabled or a lack of understanding and expertise in this area. A need for sexual information related to their disability is warranted in the areas of reproduction, contraception and their ability/disability in achieving an erection or ejaculation. This study indicated a need for more comprehensive research in this neglected area of sexual issues of persons with disabilites. Public health education and counseling is deemed necessary for the disabled themselves so as to accommodate their sexual lives to their physical capabilities and desires. Attitudes and misconceptions of the pubic need to be corrected. Above all, there is a need for education and training for health care professionals in the area of sexual rehabilitation, which is currently non-existent in the country. Perhaps, it is timely to incorporate sexual rehabilitation as part of a holistic medical re-habilitation of the disabled.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Focus group; Qualitative method; Sexual attitudes; Sexual behaviour; Sexual knowledge; Sexuality; Spinal cord injury
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 01:30
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 01:30

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