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Gerontologist. 2019 Feb 17. pii: gnz016. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz016. [Epub ahead of print]

Person-Centered Sexual Expression: Determining Preferences of Future Nursing Home Residents.

Author information

1
Center on Aging, Kansas State University, Manhattan.
2
Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis, University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Approaches to sexual expression in nursing homes are often devoid of person-centered components, such as resident choice. Little is known about residents' preferences for sexual and intimate expression across different situations. To evaluate future resident preferences, a convenience sample of 389 midlife and older adults in the United States were assessed for their perceptions of appropriateness of sexual and intimate activity among couples in nursing homes, given certain situational factors (e.g., cognitive impairment, relationship status, assent behaviors).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

A randomized experimental vignette design was implemented to determine situational factors that influence future resident preferences for sexual expression in nursing homes. Data were analyzed via multilevel modeling, allowing for multiple vignette ratings to be nested among respondents.

RESULTS:

Behavioral indications of assent, level of intimacy between the couple, and age of respondent affected respondents' ratings of appropriateness of sexual and intimate activities. Also, cognition and relationship levels interacted for more nuanced effects on activity appropriateness.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

Future resident preferences are often incongruent with attitudes and common practices for approaching sexual expression in nursing home settings. This marks a unique opportunity for person-centered policy development and implementation in the realm of sexual expression.

KEYWORDS:

Dementia; Multilevel modeling; Person-centered care; Resident choice; Sexuality

PMID:
30772898
DOI:
10.1093/geront/gnz016

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