Discomfort in Discussing Sexual Issues: Developing a New Scale for Staff at Long-Term Care Facilities for Older Adults

J Gerontol Nurs. 2022 Sep;48(9):27-37. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20220808-01. Epub 2022 Sep 1.


Interviews reveal that many health professionals working with older adults are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues with those under their care. Nevertheless, to date, discomfort in discussing sexual issues with older adults has not been empirically investigated. To facilitate exploration of this subject, the current study evaluated the psychometric properties of a new measure: The Discomfort in Discussing Sexual Issues (DDSI) with Older Adults scale. The study was conducted via online survey among 127 long-term care staff (e.g., nurses, physicians, physical therapists, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists) serving older adults. A confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the DDSI scale’s structure as a single, four-item construct. More conservative attitudes regarding sexuality in later life were associated with higher DDSI scores. In addition, DDSI scale scores were negatively correlated with knowledge about sexuality in later life and educational level. Findings indicate that the DDSI has good psychometric properties, as reflected by its high reliability and adequate validity, making it a useful assessment tool for future research. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 48(9), 27-37.].

PMID:36007217 | DOI:10.3928/00989134-20220808-01

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