AOTA Continuing Education: Occupational Therapy’s Role in Addressing Sexuality and Intimacy
The purpose of this capstone project was to create a continuing education course for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) on the topic of OT’s role in addressing sexuality and intimacy. The topic of sexuality and intimacy is often under-addressed by healthcare professionals, despite its importance to clients. According to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, engagement in sexual activity is not only an ADL, but can be a key aspect of social participation in the context of familial and peer/ friend roles. Therefore, it is well within OT’s scope of practice to address sexuality and intimacy with clients. However, there has been a disconnect in practice as well as formal education for practitioners. This happens for a variety of reasons including attitudes and bias, cultural/ religious barriers, fear of offending the client, therapist perceived lack of knowledge, and therapist discomfort. The purpose of the continuing education course was to provide an opportunity for OT practitioners to increase their knowledge and confidence when advocating for an occupation that is often overlooked. During the development of this course, the authors conducted an informal needs assessment in order to assist with curriculum development. Artifacts of this capstone product include: 1 hour CEU with knowledge checks, 12 question exam and a resource guide accessible on AOTA’s learn platform.