Staff members' perceived training needs regarding sexuality in residential aged care facilities

Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2017 Oct-Dec;38(4):443-452. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2015.1127811. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


The purpose of the article is to ascertain if staff members of residential aged care facilities (RACF) perceive the need for training regarding residents' sexuality, and what, if any, benefits from the training were perceived, and to compare perceived benefits of training between care assistants and professional/managerial staff. Interviews were conducted with 53 staff members of five different RACF in Spain. Their responses to two semistructured questions were transcribed verbatim and submitted to content analysis. Results show that most interviewees said they lacked training about sexuality and aging. Two potential highlighted benefits of the training are knowledge/attitudinal (countering negative attitudes regarding sexuality) and procedural (developing common protocols and tools to manage situations related to sexuality). Care assistants and professional staff agreed on the need for training, though the former emphasized the procedural impact and the latter the knowledge/attitudinal benefits. The results suggest that RACF staff should have an opportunity to receive training on residents' sexuality, as sexual interest and behavior is a key dimension of residents' lives.

Keywords: Older age, residential aged care facilities, sexuality, training needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods*
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexuality / psychology
  • Social Perception