Attitudes Toward Sexual Wellness for Individuals with Disabilities: Recreational Therapists' and Students' Perspectives

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/TRJ-2022-V56-I2-11182

Abstract

Sexual wellness, an important component of overall quality of life, is often ignored or omitted from the scope of recreational therapy practices, mostly due to attitudes, beliefs, and lack of formalized training and education. No prior research exists on the attitudes of recreational therapists (RT) and students toward incorporating sexual wellness into practice for individuals with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the current attitudes of practicing recreational therapists, as well as the attitudes of current students on sexual wellness within the scope of recreational therapy practices. A cross-sectional survey design was employed with a purposive sample of 112 RT practitioners and students. Results indicated that both RT students and practitioners believe that sexual wellness is an important component of rehabilitation and should be included in undergraduate and graduate education. Implications for practice and research are presented.

Author Biographies

Jennifer Ann Piatt, Associate Professor Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health Department of Health and Wellness Design


Dr. Jennifer Piatt, CTRS, FDRT, is Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Wellness Design where she is the lead researcher of the Community-based Rehabilitation Research Team. Her work focuses on examining recreational therapy interventions as a public health initiative. Her primary research focus is sexual wellness and women living with disabilities. 

Cedomir Stanojevic, Doctoral Candidate Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health Department of Health and Wellness Design

Mr. Stanojevic is  a  doctoral candidate at Indiana University's, School of Public Health in the Department of Health and Wellness Design. My current research focus is centered on the population diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and on the interventions that relate to leisure and improved quality of life for these individuals (i.e. Equine Assisted Therapy, Utilization of Socially Assistive Robotics).

Ivanka Simic-Stanojevic, Doctoral Student Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health Department of Health and Wellness Design


Ivanka Simic Stanojevic is a Ph.D. student at Indiana University’s School of Public Health with a major in Leisure Behavior. Ms. Simic Stanojevic holds a master’s degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her line of research is focusing on the sexual wellness of women with disabilities. Ms. Simic Stanojevic is dedicated to exploring and establishing evidence-based practices that improve sexual wellness and overall well-being for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Abigail Fisher, Undergraduate Student Indiana State University

Abigail is currently an undergraduate student in recreational therapy completing her internship. She was a member of the Community-based Rehabilitation Research Team where she completed an independent study.

Junhyoung kim, Assistant Professor Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health Department of Health and Wellness Design


Dr. Junhyoung Kim is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at Indiana University. His research focus is on health promotion and preventive medicine for diverse, often disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities, immigrants, and older adults. His overarching goal is to design and implement effective therapeutic interventions for such groups. 

Published

2022-06-07