Sexual issues and concerns : the stories of Chinese women with spinal cord impairment

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Sexual issues and concerns : the stories of Chinese women with spinal cord impairment


Author: Li, Mung-nga Candy
Title: Sexual issues and concerns : the stories of Chinese women with spinal cord impairment
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Spinal cord -- Wounds and injuries -- Patients -- Sexual behavior
Women patients -- China -- Sexual behavior
People with disabilities -- China -- -- Sexual behavior
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: vii, 82 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Background: Much has been written about the pathophysiological impact of spinal cord impairment (SCI) on sexual function in women, yet the literature internationally or locally is sparse in relation to information about the psychological and emotional impacts on female sexuality, and the influences they may have in maintaining sexual identity as a woman with physical disability. Aim: The aim of this study is to understand the sexual experiences and concerns of Chinese women who live with spinal cord impairments and to offer ways that nurses may acknowledge and address the sexuality issues of women with physical disabilities. Method and data analysis: A qualitative approach was adopted through in-depth interviews. Narrative data was collected from ten Chinese women with spinal cord impairment and with age ranged 32-47. Qualitative information on marital relationships, sexual identity, sexual satisfactions and sexual knowledge was transcribed and analyzed. Findings: It was found that sexuality has multiple meanings that were shaped and influenced by life experiences. When disability intrudes in a woman's life, sexuality was reshaped against a foundation of previous sexual experiences and expectation, especially for women who acquired disabilities in adulthood. Constructions of sexuality among Chinese women with physical disabilities encompassed areas, which are more than sexual acts, include couple's adjustment to disabilities, perception of a woman's image in society, the self internalization of women's roles within families, perception of health care professionals to sexuality, and timing of disability. Conclusion and implication: This study reveals that sexuality is an important health concern for women who live with long-term physical disabilities and should be acknowledged with sensitive and responsive health practices. Nurses need to renounce the sexual myths and stereotypes surrounding women with disabilities and genuinely attempt to understand the possible impact of spinal cord impairment on women's sexuality.

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