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TitlePerspectives of Portuguese People with Physical Disabilities Regarding Their Sexual Health: A Focus Group Study
Author(s)Pereira, Raquel
Teixeira, Pedro Miguel Silva Costa Afonso
Nobre, Pedro J.
Focus group
Qualitative research
Sexual health
Sexual rights
Issue dateDec-2018
JournalSexuality and Disability
CitationPereira, R., Teixeira, P. M., & Nobre, P. J. (2018). Perspectives of portuguese people with physical disabilities regarding their sexual health: A focus group study. Sexuality and Disability, 36(4), 389-406
Abstract(s)The World Health Organization has considered sexual health as a major dimension of global health and a sexual right. However, the sexual health of people with physical disabilities is still poorly addressed by health and social care professionals, and it is very stigmatized by society. This study aimed to assess the perspectives of Portuguese people living with physical disabilities regarding issues affecting their sexual health. Nine women and 17 men with different physical disabilities participated in the study. Participants were recruited from a professional rehabilitation facility located in the North of Portugal and were assigned to four groups in one-hour sessions. Three main categories emerged from the content analysis: (1) meanings and beliefs regarding sexuality; (2) experiences of sexuality; (3) necessary changes. Despite the positive social changes towards sexuality, participants expressed that their sexual rights are still unfulfilled, as they live in a context that perpetuates their dependency. They pointed out low self-esteem, prejudice and social isolation, poor architectural accessibility and scarcity of financial support as some of the barriers to their lives and their sexual health. Finally, participants identified the main needs regarding their sexual health, such as: access to specialized information; training for health professionals. This study gives voice to people with physical disabilities and sheds light into both individual and contextual factors affecting their sexual health. Of utmost importance, this study draws attention to the need for reinforcing sexuality of people with disabilities in the social agenda and brings implications for future research and practice.
Publisher version
AccessembargoedAccess (1 Year)
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais com Referee

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