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Title: How promoting are professional staff working within community learning disability teams of clients having sexual relationships, and what are the factors involved in this?
Author: Bissmire, Diane Jean
ISNI:       0000 0001 3465 7201
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 1998
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It was hypothesised that previous experience of working with issues concerning sexuality and clients with learning disabilities, knowledge, and overall experience of working with the client group would influence decisions professional staff made concerning sexuality and risk. A questionnaire was devised comprising the following four sections: 1. Demographic details. 2. Changes in levels of promotion / protection of clients since qualifying in a profession. 3. Knowledge questions concerning issues of sexuality. 4. Scenario based questions relating to sexuality and relationship issues- The questionnaires were completed by 78 professional members of community learning disability teams. A significant positive correlation was found between knowledge scores and scenarios cores, indicating that the more knowledgeable the individual is the more protective they are of clients. Additionally, a significant positive correlation was found between the amount of experience dealing specifically with sexual relationships and knowledge scores. A significant negative correlation was found between the amount of experience gained in dealing with clients experiencing heterosexual relationships and the score gained in the scenario concerning that issue. A significant negative correlation was also found between the amount of experience gained in dealing with sexual health issues and the score in the relevant scenario. This indicates that the more experience the participant has in dealing with heterosexual relationships and issues around sexually transmitted diseases, the more promoting they are when assessing the risks in a related scenario. A polarisation of views was noted in the scoring of some of the scenarios. The clinical implications are discussed as well as possible improvements in questionnaire design. Suggestions are made concerning directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Risk assessment