Bond University researchers are looking for health and social care professionals to take part in a national survey to assess their knowledge and attitudes towards later life sexuality and inform a newly developed and validated tool.
The survey is open to health and social care professionals across all settings including aged care, and aims to test the up-to-date tool – called Health and Social Care Professionals’ Knowledge & Attitudes Towards Later Life Sexuality (HSCP-KALLS) – for gathering this information.
“Existing tools are outdated or inadequately take into considerations those living with dementia and minority groups such as the LGBTIQ+ community, or both,” lead researcher Yung-Hui Chen told Australian Ageing Agenda.
Ms Chen – a registered nurse – is running the survey as part of her PhD research project. As well as addressing the inadequacies of current assessment tools, the project examines health and social care professionals’ knowledge and attitudes towards sexual desire and the needs and preferences of older people including those living with dementia and identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and questioning/queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals.
“Besides understanding existing attitudes, the tool aims to identify knowledge gaps and training needs for health and social care professionals,” Ms Chen said.
In the first phase of the project, Ms Chen and her supervisors identified limitations of existing tools via a systematic review. This review identified a clear need for the development of a new tool to assess health and social care professionals’ knowledge and attitudes towards later life sexuality.
“The items included in the new tool have been reviewed by a group of experts who specialise in later life sexuality from clinical, research or educational perspectives. The tool has also been tested with a small group of people, showing preliminary reliability. We are now ready to test this tool on a larger scale to robustly establish psychometric properties,” said Ms Chen. “We need health and social care professionals to help,” she added.
The project is seeking approximately 400 health and social care participants nationally.
The online survey will take about 30 minutes to complete. It is accessible here or via the QR code until close of business 1 June 2023. For further information, you can email Ms Chen at email@example.com
“By completing the HSCP-KALLS tool, health and social care professionals will help to inform on the usefulness of the new tool, as well as on their professional development needs to enhance understanding and improve care provision for older people in later life sexuality. It could also potentially support and guide future policy development and research in this area,” Ms Chen said.