Sexual recovery: experiences of women with spinal injury reconstructing a positive sexual identity

Beckwith, Alison, and Yau, Matthew Kwai-sang (2013) Sexual recovery: experiences of women with spinal injury reconstructing a positive sexual identity. Sexuality and Disability, 31 (4). pp. 313-324.

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Current literature reports women with spinal injury feel concerned about body image, self-esteem, social perceptions of people in wheelchairs, practical issues in expressing sexuality, and the inadequacy of sexual rehabilitation. Through the first author's personal experience and reflection, a need was identified to share their experiences in the journey of sexual recovery. The study aims to build on the current literature from an Australian and peer's perspective. The objectives were to document the experiences of women with spinal injury reconstructing their sexual identity and identify the barriers and information they received on sexual rehabilitation. A descriptive study involving seven semi-structured interviews were employed and narrative analysis was conducted along with the authors' critical reflections. The participants had acquired spinal injuries of various levels ranging from 4 to 39 years ago. Four themes were identified: (1) loss; (2) sexual rehabilitation and information gathering; (3) external factors; and (4) sexual recovery/discovery. The narratives of the participants demonstrated the barriers faced and the process of developing a sexual identity post-injury. Positive and negative factors were identified in each theme, which have the potential to be addressed and molded into a positive sexual identity. Women with spinal injury want access to more information on sexuality as it is experienced post-injury. Future research is required to look at developing resources and the strategies in which they can be delivered to facilitate a timely positive adjustment.

Item ID: 31361
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-6717
Keywords: Australia, disability, identity, recovery, sexuality, spinal injury, women
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2014 23:13
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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