“No health without sexual health;
without sexual health education!”
My abstract, accepted (January 2017):
This presentation demonstrates learning opportunities from multi-professional research of healthcare practitioners. Since completing the study (Evans 2011), implications for practice have been strategically addressed locally, nationally and sometimes internationally.
Sex, sexualities and sexual health are fundamental dimensions of life-long personal and social well-being (WAS 2014). Research indicates a mis-match between holistic “wider curriculum” philosophies (WHO, 2006), and erotophobic barriers to therapeutic well-being. Andragogical (adult learning) methodologies help overcome such barriers. The result: efficient education for health professionals addressing sexual dimensions of human personhood in those they care for (SCIE, 2011).
The study actioned a three-dimensional, ‘triptych’, model of learning for clinical practice (Evans 2013): 1) holistic dimensions of sexual health; 2) aspects of sex, sexualities or sexual health impacted by other conditions, and 3) problems and sexual ill-health: sexual infections, psychosexual matters and unplanned / unwanted conceptions.
Triptych-wide learning across all health professional curricula at the presenter’s Institution.
A ‘therapeutic use of self’ style teaching, which safely transformed a learner’s homophobia, resulting in improvements for mental health nurse-patient relations (Evans, 2016).
Dissemination of findings, advancing multi-professional learning, nationally and internationally.
Discussion & recommendations
Many practitioners access specialist learning; others receive reductionistic training (Jayasuriya and Dennick, 2011; ECDC, 2013). The wider-world healthcare population receives little or no formal sex, sexualities or sexual health learning (Astbury-Ward, 2011). Curricula gaps in ‘knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits’ (Griffith and Burns, 2014) impact clinical abilities to deal proactively and effectively with client need. Recommendations include developing sex-positive and enthusiastic teachers and clinicians; encouraging and inspiring them to challenge barriers to sexual health learning and care provision; building strategic inter-professional alliances, and mainstreaming (Attwood, 2009) the quality and quantity of sex-related education across higher education curricula and fields of clinical practice.
Inter-Professional Health Education, Wider Curriculum, Holistic Care
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Check out some shared learning from the WAS2017 Congress in Prague, on Twitter at #WAS2017
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