Sexual Expression of Nursing Home Residents
Repository Posting Date2018-03-08T16:46:05Z
Author(s)Augilar, Rodolfo A.
Author DetailsRodolfo A. Aguilar, MD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
Lead Author Sigma AffliationEpsilon Theta
Level of EvidenceN/A
Purpose: Living longer, baby boomers will need specialized care offered by nursing homes to manage chronic conditions. This review explores the knowledge, attitudes, and experiences towards older people’s sexuality and sexual expression in nursing homes – an important area of research to meet the needs of this emerging population.
Design: A primary search of the CINAHL and Pubmed databases and secondary inclusion of cited references covering the period January 2000 to November 2016 identified 12 relevant studies.
Methods: Using the PRISMA flow diagram of the screening process, data were extracted, summarized, compared, and risk of bias was assessed focusing on ethical considerations, sample size and sampling methods, validity and reliability of data collection instruments, participation, cooperation and response rate.
Findings: Research on the matter of sexuality and sexual expression in nursing homes is unexpectedly scant. The existing research demonstrates an overall disconnect between what residents want and the existing policies for sexual expression in nursing homes. Overall, sexual expression in older adults is recognized as a basic need that should be supported. Positive attitudes towards sexuality in nursing homes were correlated with a higher level of knowledge about older adults’ sexuality. In addition, positive predictors of attitudes towards sexuality in nursing homes were found to be: age, level of education, and years of experience. Barriers to addressing sexuality in the elderly are the lack of privacy and staff discomfort, which together represent common causes for loneliness and lack of intimacy in nursing homes.
Conclusions: Nursing research and practice need to shift their focus towards individual needs of nursing home residents to accommodate their values and expectations. Current policies regarding sexual expression in nursing homes need revision to satisfy the needs of baby boomers.