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Title: Assessing nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes regarding sexuality of older adults: Implications for sexuality education
Author(s): Ng, Anna Hoi Nga 
Boey, Kam Weng 
Issue Date: 2023
Conference: The 9th Asian Conference on Aging & Gerontology (AGen2023) 
Background: Unsatisfied sexual need may deleteriously affect holistic well-being of older adults. However, older adults are reluctant to bring up their sexual concerns partly due to sexuality is an aspect of private life, partly because sexual issues are still a taboo in the society. Health care professionals may therefore need to take a proactive role to address sexual concern of older patients. However, issues on sexuality are rarely brought up in routine health assessment. Nurses feel uncomfortable and were not willing to provide sexual health care to elderly patients. Inadequate knowledge and negative attitudes were suggested to be two major barriers.

Objectives: This study assessed nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes regarding aging sexuality, with a view to provide teaching materials for nursing education.

Methods: The Aging Sexual Knowledge and Attitude Scale (ASKAS) was used as a measuring instrument. Participants were 258 first year nursing students (mean age = 19.3, SD = 1.7; 90.7% females) of three nursing schools run by the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong.

Results: The data indicated that nursing students’ knowledge about aging sexuality was inadequate. More than two-thirds of the knowledge items were answered incorrectly. The students also showed conservative attitudes towards sexuality of older adults. More than 80% of the items on sexuality of older adults were endorsed with conservative attitudes.

Conclusions: Findings of this study indicate a crucial need to promote of knowledge and positive attitudes regarding aging sexuality among nursing students. Pertinent information collected from this study provides useful reference materials for designing training program for sexuality education. Limitations of the study and shortcomings of ASKAS as a measure aging sexuality were considered.
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
Appears in Collections:HL Publication

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