A Critical Appraisal of Sexuality and Relationships Programs for People with Acquired Brain Injury


This literature review presents a critical appraisal of the dominant approaches toward the sexuality and relationships of people with acquired brain injury. In particular, we sought to identify and review existing programs focusing on sexuality and relationships which use an educational and/or peer–peer approach. A systematic and comprehensive search of the EBSCOHOST database was conducted within an unlimited time-frame to yield the highest number of relevant results possible, along with hand-searching of key journals and databases. Reports, papers and webpages, documents commonly referred to as ‘grey literature’ that are not published in peer-reviewed journals, were also hand searched as a part of this review. The database search yielded 862 results, 14 of which were found to be relevant to our research interests. All of the sexuality education programs identified in this review were experienced positively by participants, families, caregivers, and professionals working with people with acquired brain injury. No peer–peer sexuality and relationships programs were identified. However, we found strong support for the use of peer–peer approaches in other programs for people with acquired brain injury. This literature review provides strong support for the development peer–peer sexuality and relationships programs for people with acquired brain injury. However, any future programs would have to overcome the limitations of existing sexuality and relationships programs.

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O’Shea, A., Frawley, P., Leahy, J.W. et al. A Critical Appraisal of Sexuality and Relationships Programs for People with Acquired Brain Injury. Sex Disabil 38, 57–83 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-020-09616-5

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  • Acquired brain injury
  • Sexuality
  • Peer-engagement
  • Education
  • Australia