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Unmet Need for Sexual Rehabilitation after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): A Cross-Sectional Study Concerning Sexual Activity, Sexual Relationships, and Sexual Rehabilitation after ABI
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6446-6553
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2255-6547
2023 (English)In: Sexuality and disability, ISSN 0146-1044, E-ISSN 1573-6717, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 387-410Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In relation to brain injury rehabilitation, research has stressed the importance of including sexuality issues due to increased risk for sexual dysfunctions after Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). This study aims to explore experiences after non-stroke ABI concerning individual and relational aspects of sexuality, received information about sexuality at rehabilitation, and gender differences. A postal nationwide survey was conducted in Sweden, 2018-2019. The sample included individuals who had participated in brain injury rehabilitation 2014-2016, response rate 40% (250/624). Among all participants 78% had resumed sexual activity, and there was a significant difference between males (84%, 118/140) and females (69%, 76/110, p = 0.004). Among all participants, 95% reported physical intimacy as important, 80% considered sex as important on an individual level, and 91% stated sexuality as important for the relationship (no gender differences). Significantly more females (52%) than males (22%) reported that they had tried sexual aids (p = 0.000), and more males (29%) than females (16%) reported that professionals addressed sexuality issues during brain injury rehabilitation (p = 0.024). However, only a few participants were offered specific sexual counseling during brain injury rehabilitation, such as individual counseling (3%), couples counseling (2%), and group counseling (3%). To conclude, the vast majority valued both individual and relational aspects of sex and sexuality highly, and more males than females had resumed sexual activity. Few had received information about sexuality after ABI, and even fewer females compared to males reported that the issue was raised during rehabilitation. Clinical implications are discussed in relation to sexual rehabilitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023. Vol. 41, no 2, p. 387-410
Keywords [en]
Acquired brain injury, Sexuality, Rehabilitation, Counseling, Relationship, Gender, Sweden
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59489DOI: 10.1007/s11195-023-09788-wISI: 000962026300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85151422464OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59489DiVA, id: diva2:1757026
Available from: 2023-05-15 Created: 2023-05-15 Last updated: 2023-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Ek, Ann-SofieHolmström, CharlottaElmerstig, Eva

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