Improving Staff Attitudes Toward Expression of Elderly

Period of Performance: 03/15/1997 - 08/31/1997


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Bonnie Walker and Associates
Crofton, MD 21114
Principal Investigator


Sexuality is part of human nature throughout the life span. As people age, it continues to play an important role in determining quality of life. In long-term care setting, however, the expression of sexuality can present problems for both elderly people and staff. The long range goal of this project is to improve staff attitudes related to the sexuality of the elderly and to help staff foster a climate in which older people can express sexuality appropriately. Specific aims are to investigate elderly and staff knowledge and attitudes toward elderly sexuality, to identify issue on which the attitudes of elderly people and staff differ significantly, to develop measures of staff knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in response to sexual expression, and to design, create, and evaluate appropriate educational and training materials for staff. Phase I products will include an annotated bibliography, an assessment instrument, and a curriculum guide which will serve as a blueprint for the education/training materials. Phase II products will include validated materials and assessment instruments which can be used independently to evaluate staff knowledge, attitudes, and practices, or materials in changing staff knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: This project will result in an instrument that can be used to assess staff knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to sexuality and the elderly and in a training program for staff which can be published by companies that provide training programs for long-term care facilities such as Aspen, Mosby, or the American Helath Care Association.