Sexuality and Occupational Therapy Practice Network
Sexuality is a part of human nature, regardless of a person's physical, cognitive, or emotional state. However, health care professionals rarely explore the topic of sexuality with their clients. Many health care providers haven't been trained in how to discuss topics such as sex, reproductive health, safety, fertility, and many more aspects of sexuality following a diagnosis. Therefore, many clients are at risk of losing an essential part of their lives, simply because of a lack of resources. As occupational therapists, we should have the knowledge and resources to support our clients' needs with respect to their sexuality. The aim of this CAOT occupational therapy network is to provide its members with up to date resources, a platform to share experiences and knowledge, and the opportunity to build their capacities to help their clients live a meaningful, fulfilling life.
The objectives of the network, Sexuality and Occupational Therapy, are as follows:
- To help occupational therapists build the capacity to apply evidence-based practice for client needs regarding sexuality.
- To build a community where occupational therapists can support each other by sharing experiences and research on addressing sexuality in practice.
- To build the capacity to advocate for client needs regarding reproductive health and accessibility in health care centres.
- To support advocacy and research efforts towards the development of practice guidelines, policies, and interventions for sexuality and occupational therapy.
- To raise awareness and understanding of client needs and resources available within communities across Canada.
The network’s actions will develop based on the needs of the members and include:
- Proposing the development of a CAOT role paper for occupational therapists in sexuality.
- Providing opportunities for training in addressing aspects of sexuality with clients, such as webinars and workshops.
- Carrying out video calls once every three months for members to discuss needs and ideas, as well as new research being conducted, new resources, advocacy efforts, and network objectives.
- Providing reliable information on practice supports, such as up to date research evidence, outcome measures, and practice guidelines.
- Developing an up to date repository of community resources and adapted equipment for sexual health services across Canada.
Michelle Leclerc, M.Sc. OT