Physical therapists (PTs) spend considerable time with their patients and may address certain aspects of sexual health
; however, professional readiness to discuss sexual health
among health care students is generally lacking.
All students (n = 60) enrolled in a second-year neuromuscular class in a professional, entry-level, PT education program were invited to participate in this study. The Students' Attitudes Towards Addressing Sexual Health
Questionnaire was administered as an electronic survey before and after a classroom training on sexuality and disability
led by a patient-educator
. Pretraining and posttraining total survey scores were analyzed, as were scores for individual survey items.
Participants' average total scores increased significantly after training, indicating an increased self-perceived readiness to discuss sexual health
. Scores for survey items most closely related to the training also increased.
Discussion and Conclusions.
Classroom-based training with a patient-educator
may improve some aspects of student readiness to discuss sexual health
; however, other aspects may require maturity, mentorship, and clinical experience. Further investigation is needed to understand students' readiness to discuss sexual health
with patients and to refine the PT role regarding sexual health