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J Clin Nurs. 2019 Jun 4. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14952. [Epub ahead of print]

Staff responses to residents exposing their genitals in public in long-term care settings: The gap between common and perceived best practices.

Author information

1
Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
2
Consejería de Servicios y Derechos Sociales del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To explore staff reactions to residents' behaviour consisting in exposing their genitals in public, and to differentiate between what is perceived as common practice (what most staff do) and best practice (the best possible approach).

BACKGROUND:

The presence of inappropriate sexual behaviours (ISBs) in long-term care facilities poses practical and ethical dilemmas since they may impinge on the rights of others (staff and residents) and thus need to be adequately monitored and managed. However, no studies have focused on how staff handle ISBs, and particularly exposing oneself in public.

METHODS:

A total of 2,175 people working in 152 Spanish LTC facilities participated in the study. They were presented with a vignette describing a resident exposing his/her genitals in public, and they were asked what they think most of their workmates would do and what they think should be done in that situation. The STROBE checklist was used to enhance the quality and transparency of the research.

RESULTS:

Approximately one-third of participants (32.4%) reported having experienced behaviours such as the one described in the vignette. Staff reactions underline the predominance of restrictive practices. However, if prompted to think in terms of best practice, supportive reactions increased in frequency. Finally, factors such as work position have an influence on perceived common and best practices, with care assistants generally holding more restrictive views than directors or technical staff.

CONCLUSIONS:

Around one-third of staff members, and particularly those in managerial or technical positions, had witnessed residents exposing their genitals in public. However, there is no common ground among staff regarding the best way to handle the situation.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Our findings stress the importance of organisational policies and workplace training in the management of challenging behaviours such as exposing oneself.

KEYWORDS:

exposing oneself; inappropriate sexual behaviour; long-term care; sexuality; staff reactions

PMID:
31162750
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.14952

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