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Meaning of sexuality in aged care

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Multi-phase design using qualitative methods and a Delphi technique. Tool items were derived from the literature and verified by qualitative interviews with aged care facility staff, residents and families.

The final item pool was confirmed via a reactive Delphi process. The tool also enables facilities to monitor initiatives in these areas over time.

Sexuality is a broad multi-dimensional construct which encompasses relationships, romance, intimacy ranging from simple touching and hugging, to sexually explicit contactgender, grooming, dress and styling. Being able to express our sexuality is known to be important to health, well-being, quality of life [ 1 - 3 ] and furthermore, human rights [ 4 ].

A recent study by Bauer et al. However, although there is an increasing emphasis on the application of person-centred approaches to care delivery [ 610 - 12 ], many residential aged care "Meaning of sexuality in aged care" providers still neglect to recognise and address sexuality as a component of wellbeing.

It is clear that there is scope for aged care facilities to raise their level of awareness and understanding of the needs of older people with respect to sexuality and how to best support its expression [ 6 ]. This paper describes the development process of a self-report tool for residential aged care facilities.

The SexAT was developed using a multi-phase design [ 29 ]. An initial pool of items was constructed from the literature. This process refined and reduced the initial pool of items and confirmed the content validity of the tool.

The initial pool of items for the SexAT was conceptualised by the research team on the basis of a review of the literature including grey literature on the issues and obstacles to the expression of sexuality in aged care. To identify any other unreported barriers and enablers which were unique to the Australian residential aged care context, an exploratory qualitative study was carried out.

Written informed consent to participate was obtained from all research participants. Where participants had dementia assent was sought and written consent obtained from their guardian.

Data from the interviews are reported elsewhere [ 530 ]. The Delphi technique was developed in the s, and is a structured process designed to gain consensus from a range of experts.

Traditionally, it involves a series of rounds, in which participants or panellists raise questions or issues on a particular topic. The feedback is summarised and sent back to participants for further review and comment, and this process continues until consensus is reached [ 31 ]. Benefits of Meaning of sexuality in aged care Delphi process include: Over time, many different versions of the Delphi method have been developed, with various aspects of the process being modified to suit a particular application.

In the context of this study this entailed responding to our draft list of items.

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