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A Guttman Scale to Assess Knowledge About Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Abstract

Sexuality issues are a core aspect of human development and still remain a challenging theme for professionals working with people with disabilities. Health literacy, which includes the individual knowledge about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), is a factor with influence in safe behaviors regarding own sexual living and It assessment is often neglected in services for adults with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The purpose of this study was to develop a simple, easily administered scale to assess the knowledge about STDs for adults with CP, in Portugal. Forty-two participants (28 men, 14 women), aged 18–53 years, with CP were interviewed with a structured questionnaire about sexuality knowledge, where questions about STDs were used as basis for Guttman scale development. From the eighteen items of the questionnaire, 10 were considered as related to STD and a valid Guttman scale containing 8 items was derived (CR = 0.92, MMR = 0.80, CS = 0.61). The median score of the summed items from the developed scale was 6 (IQ1–IQ3 = 5.0–8.0) and the range of correct answers was between 3 and 8. The proportion of correct answers to each question ranged between 97.6 and 47.6 %. The results of this study suggest that it is possible to combine questions that represent diverse aspects of STDs knowledge in an ordered scale and be used in an assessment, including self-administered tools, of adults of CP. This measure is time effective and can be used in with advantages both for health professionals and persons with CP.

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Correspondence to Joaquim Alvarelhão.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Alvarelhão, J., Lopes, D. A Guttman Scale to Assess Knowledge About Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Adults with Cerebral Palsy. Sex Disabil 34, 485–493 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-016-9454-8

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Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy adults
  • Guttman scale
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Assessment
  • Portugal