Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 289–302 | Cite as

Health Care Students’ Attitudes Towards Working with Sexual Health in Their Professional Roles: Survey of Students at Nursing, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Programmes

  • Kristina Areskoug-JosefssonEmail author
  • Agneta Larsson
  • Gunvor Gard
  • Bo Rolander
  • Päivi Juuso
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to explore differences and similarities in health care students’ attitudes towards working with and communicating with patients about sexual health issues in their future professions. The aim was also to explore whether the students’ gender, age and future professions were influencing factors and whether there was a change in attitude depending on educational levels, gender, age and future professions. The study also aimed to explore the potential development of those differences and similarities in attitudes between health care students having achieved different levels of education and training in their future professions. A cross-sectional quantitative study was performed with an online survey distributed to nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students. The students believed that they needed increased sexual health education and increased communication skills about sexual health. Gender and future profession are factors that significantly affect the attitudes of the students towards working with sexual health. Nursing and occupational therapy students have a more positive attitude towards addressing sexual health in their future professions than do physiotherapy students. Further research is needed in this field to improve competence in sexual health for all student groups, particularly physiotherapy students. Further research is also needed to explore the significance of gender regarding education in sexual health and attitudes towards working with sexual health.


Sexual health Education Rehabilitation Sexual well-being Sexuality Care Sweden 



Futurum, Academy for Health and Care, Jönköping County Council, Jönköping, and Per Westlings Foundation, Lund, funded the research project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina Areskoug-Josefsson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Agneta Larsson
    • 1
  • Gunvor Gard
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bo Rolander
    • 4
    • 5
  • Päivi Juuso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesLuleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden
  2. 2.The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and WelfareJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden
  3. 3.Division of PhysiotherapyLund UniversityLundSweden
  4. 4.Futurum, Academy for Health and CareJönköping County CouncilJönköpingSweden
  5. 5.Department of Behavioural Science and Social Work, School of Health SciencesJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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