Effects of Education, Therapy, and Counseling on the Elderly
The effects of education, therapy, or counseling on elderly attitudes and knowledge related to their sexuality have received only a minimal amount of attention in the literature. A few educational interventions have been evaluated, mostly on elderly people attending senior centers, neighborhood centers, or senior day care centers, geriatric centers at hospitals. One study included here by White and Catania ( 1982) investigated the affects of a sexual psychoeducational intervention conducted and evaluated with a group of elderly residents of nursing homes. The intervention was also evaluated with adult family members and staff members.
The types of programs offered include short workshops on sexuality, 9-week seminars with sessions lasting 2 hours each, use of films followed by discussion, educational games, activity programs, and sexual enhancement programs for married couples. In some cases, programs on sexuality are presented within a broader topic area such as "Building Relationships" or within a comprehensive preventative health program. In almost every case, the subjects are volunteers.
Instruments used to evaluate effects of the training on the elderly subjects include the Aging Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes Scale, Sex Knowledge and Attitude Test, Attitude and Knowledge Assessment, and the Sexual Behavior Questionnaire.