Sexuality and the Elderly: A Research Guide

By Bonnie L. Walker | Go to book overview

16
Effects of Training on Caregiver Attitudes and Knowledge

Many writers recommend educational intervention for people who work with the elderly to increase their knowledge of elderly sexuality and to rid them of negative stereotypes. This chapter describes such interventions and reviews their impact on staff knowledge, attitudes and practices.

Populations most commonly involved in study populations are nursing students. A number of researchers have examined the effects of various training programs and workshops on the attitudes and knowledge of elderly sexuality of this group. The PLISSIT Model and adapted versions of the model have been used in several studies. Studies have also looked at the effects of courses such as psychology of aging or human sexuality, entire curricula, curriculum changes, and clinical experiences, and a gerontology certification program. Results have been frequently disappointing but there is an overwhelming support in the literature for providing such training. Medical school students are also targeted for education in elderly sexuality. Attempts to improve their knowledge and change their attitudes toward elderly sexuality have met with mixed results.

Another popular study population is nursing home staff. Training methods have included films (explicit and implicit approaches), 6-week courses in human autonomy, the physiology of normal aging, and physical and psychosocial problems of the elderly.

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