‘Understanding’ as a practical issue in sexual health education for people with intellectual disabilities: a study using two qualitative methods

Finlay, W.M.L. and Rohleder, Poul and Taylor, Natalie and Culfear, Hollie (2015) ‘Understanding’ as a practical issue in sexual health education for people with intellectual disabilities: a study using two qualitative methods. Health Psychology, 34 (3). pp. 328-338.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000128

Abstract

Objective Sexual health education is important in addressing the health and social inequalities faced by people with intellectual disabilities. However, provision of health-related advice and education to people with various types and degrees of linguistic and learning difficulties involves addressing complex issues of language and comprehension. This paper reports an exploratory study using two qualitative methods to examine the delivery of sexual health education to people with intellectual disabilities. Methods Four video-recordings of sexual health education sessions were collected. Conversation analysis was used to examine in detail how such education occurs as a series of interactions between educators and learners. Interviews with four educators were carried out and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results The analysis shows how educators anticipate problems of comprehension and how they respond when there is evidence that a person does not understand the activity or the educational message. This occurs particularly when verbal prompts involve long sentences and abstract concepts. We show a characteristic pattern which arises in these situations, in which both educator and learner jointly produce a superficially correct response. Conclusions While interviews allows us some insight into contextual issues, strategy, and aspects of sexual health education which occur outside of the actual teaching sessions, analysis of actual interactions can show us patterns which occur in interactions between educators and learners when comprehension is in question. Addressing how sexual health education is delivered in practice and in detail provides valuable lessons about how such education can be improved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. Copyright APA.
Keywords: intellectual disabilities, sex education, conversation analysis
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Dr W.M.L. Finlay
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 10:30
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 10:30
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/701102

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