Challenges and opportunities in researching intimacy and sexuality in care homes accommodating older people: a feasibility study

Simpson, Paul, Brown Wilson, Christine, Brown, Laura J. E., Dickinson, Tommy and Horne, Maria (2016) Challenges and opportunities in researching intimacy and sexuality in care homes accommodating older people: a feasibility study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73 1: 127-137. doi:10.1111/jan.13080


Author Simpson, Paul
Brown Wilson, Christine
Brown, Laura J. E.
Dickinson, Tommy
Horne, Maria
Title Challenges and opportunities in researching intimacy and sexuality in care homes accommodating older people: a feasibility study
Journal name Journal of Advanced Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-2402
1365-2648
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jan.13080
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 73
Issue 1
Start page 127
End page 137
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2900 Nursing
Abstract Aim: To explore the challenges of conducting research on sexuality and intimacy among older care home residents. Background: Sexuality and intimacy are neglected in care policies and practices. Design: Qualitative analytical study drawing on poststructuralist theorizing. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents and spouses (n = 6) and care staff (n = 16) in two care homes in Northwest England in 2014. The sample was obtained through a network of ‘research-ready’ care homes. Thematic analysis was used to make sense of narratives with the aid of NVivo10. Results: Participant responses highlight the workings of ageist erotophobic discourse that undergirds the assumption of residents (and old people generally) as postsexual. This materialized in reservations about the research ranging from opposition on moral grounds to doubts about its feasibility given the age-group concerned. However, residents and care home staff can also draw on counter-discourses that resist/challenge ageist erotophobic thinking, which materialized in methodological and ethical recommendations. Conclusion: Participants generally agreed with the principle of the research and made recommendations that could counter/resist ageist erotophobic governance and guide researchers on sampling, style of questioning and communicating with (prospective) study participants on a sensitive subject.
Formatted abstract
Aim

To explore the challenges of conducting research on sexuality and intimacy among older care home residents.

Background

Sexuality and intimacy are neglected in care policies and practices.

Design

Qualitative analytical study drawing on poststructuralist theorizing.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents and spouses (n = 6) and care staff (n = 16) in two care homes in Northwest England in 2014. The sample was obtained through a network of ‘research-ready’ care homes. Thematic analysis was used to make sense of narratives with the aid of NVivo10.

Results

Participant responses highlight the workings of ageist erotophobic discourse that undergirds the assumption of residents (and old people generally) as postsexual. This materialized in reservations about the research ranging from opposition on moral grounds to doubts about its feasibility given the age-group concerned. However, residents and care home staff can also draw on counter-discourses that resist/challenge ageist erotophobic thinking, which materialized in methodological and ethical recommendations.

Conclusion

Participants generally agreed with the principle of the research and made recommendations that could counter/resist ageist erotophobic governance and guide researchers on sampling, style of questioning and communicating with (prospective) study participants on a sensitive subject.
Keyword Care
Dementia
Nursing
Nursing home care
Older people
Patient participation
Sexuality
Aged care
Discussing sexuality
Aged nursing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 26 Sep 2016, 06:38:09 EST by Christine Brown Wilson on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work