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The experiences of adults with learning disabilities attending a sexuality and relationship group: "I want to get married and have kids"

Box, M and Shawe, J (2014) The experiences of adults with learning disabilities attending a sexuality and relationship group: "I want to get married and have kids" Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 40 (2). pp. 82-88.

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Abstract

Background: People with learning disabilities are frequently denied or restricted in their right to express their sexuality by restrictive policies, negative attitudes or lack of awareness of their needs. They also tend to have differing and unrecognised sexual health needs to those of the general population. Evidence suggests that acquiring a greater knowledge and awareness of sexuality and relationship issues helps to decrease these disadvantages and to promote a greater sense of well-being for this group. Methods: The experiences of eight adults with learning disabilities attending a sexuality and relationship group, based on a mixture of validated and established sexuality and relationship programmes, were explored using a case study approach. Participants' experiences were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed using qualitative content analysis supported by participant observation and pre- and post-group assessment of knowledge. Results: Participant experiences were unique and individual, with few shared opinions. All participants demonstrated increases in their total knowledge scores in the post-group assessment and felt that attending the group had changed their views on relationships; they felt that they were more able to talk to others, to trust someone, to feel confident to want longer relationships and to be married with children. Conclusions: Sexuality and relationship groups can offer participants a beneficial and positive experience to explore such issues. The experiences of participants could be enhanced through adopting a person-centred approach and through recognising that participants have individual experiences that may not be shared within the group environment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Health Care
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Box, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Shawe, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 January 2014
Identification Number : 10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100509
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 04 Nov 2016 08:11
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 18:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/812732

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