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Sexual Identity, Body Image and Life Satisfaction Among Women With and Without Physical Disability

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Abstract

The current study examined the association between sexual identity, body image and life satisfaction among women with and without physical disability. Seventy women with physical disability (spinal cord injuries and injuries resulting from polio) and 64 women without disability completed the following questionnaires: Sexuality Scale, Body Image Scale and Quality of Life Questionnaire. The results demonstrated that women with physical disability had the same sexual needs and desires as women without disability, but their body image, sexual self-esteem, sexual satisfaction and life satisfaction were significantly lower. These differences were stronger among young adult women than among more mature women. It was also found that sexual satisfaction was a major factor in explaining the variance in life satisfaction in both groups, and the relationships between sexual satisfaction and life satisfaction were bidirectional. At the same time, different patterns of congruency and inconsistency between sexual satisfaction and life satisfaction were exposed in both groups. In addition, the research demonstrated a moderating effect of family status on links between sexual and life satisfaction.
... Wyniki zawarte w dostępnych publikacjach wskazują na związki między samooceną, satysfakcją seksualną i dobrostanem wśród osób z chorobami somatycznymi [11] i niepełnosprawnością fizyczną [12,13]. Według badań empirycznych samoocena oraz satysfakcja w sferze seksualnej mogą pozytywnie kształtować poczucie satysfakcji z życia [11,14,15]. ...
... Założenia te zweryfikowano dodatkowo przy pomocy analizy regresji, która wykazała, że samoocena i dobrostan seksualny stanowiły istotne predyktory satysfakcji z życia osób z niepełnosprawnością motoryczną. Wyniki te są zgodne z założeniami przedstawionymi we wstępie teoretycznym [11][12][13][14][15]. Uzyskanie takich wyników jest bardzo istotne z perspektywy psychologicznej. ...
Article
Presence and progress of the disability requires the affected person to function in a new way, which is characterized by limited ability to deal with everyday problems. Research meta-analyzes show that the having a physical disability can negatively shape our self-esteem and overall well-being. The results contained in the available publications show the significant relationship between self-esteem, sexual satisfaction and well-being among people with physical disabilities. The aim of this study is to verify the role of self-esteem in the relationship between sexual well-being and life satisfaction in people with motor disabilities. 85 people took part in the study: 50 women and 35 men in the age range from 18 to 65 (M = 32.49; SD = 10.93). The participants completed 3 psychological questionnaires. The Self-Esteem Scale by Rosenberg, the Short Sexual Well-Being Scale by Gerymski and the Satisfaction with Life Scale by Diener were used. The correlation analysis showed that self-esteem, sexual well-being and life satisfaction of people with motor disabilities were significantly and positively related. Multiple regression confirmed that self-esteem and sexual well-being were statistically significant and positive predictors of the subjective assessment of life satisfaction in the respondents with disabilities. The moderation analysis did not show that the self-esteem took an important role as a moderator in the relationship between sexual well-being and the subjective assessment of life satisfaction of the respondents. Disability may be limiting in all spheres of life, including the sexual one. Researchers dealing with the functioning of people with disabilities should take this issue into account, as sexual well-being can significantly shape the satisfaction and quality of life of people with disabilities.
... Nearly six million women and girls in the U.S. live with physical disabilities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Women with physical disability (WWPD) experience more sexual dysfunction, are typically less sexually active, and engage in fewer intimate relationships than women in the general population (Moin et al., 2009;Vansteenwegen et al., 2003). Although a common challenge for many women, sexual health and wellbeing is typically under-assessed and often untreated by healthcare professionals (Tsimtsiou et al., 2006). ...
... These findings are similar to research in the general population that demonstrates sexual self-efficacy is related to sexual satisfaction, risk-taking, and self-schema (Addoh et al., 2017;Reissing et al., 2005;Zimmer-Gembeck, 2013). While WWPD have the same sexual desires and needs as women without disability, their sexual satisfaction and sexual self-confidence is lower (Moin et al., 2009). Studies have demonstrated that sexual satisfaction and self-efficacy can be improved through health interventions (Ghasemi et al., 2021;Hajinia and Khalatbari, 2017;Hocaloski et al., 2016;Nooripour et al., 2014). ...
Article
Background: Women with physical disability (WWPD) experience more sexual dysfunction, are typically less sexually active, and engage in fewer intimate relationships than women without physical disability. Although patient-reported outcome measures can help researchers and providers to meet the needs of this population, current measures fail to reflect the relevant experiences of WWPD. The purposes of this study were to 1) understand the experiences of WWPD related to sexual wellness, 2) identify the gaps in the current Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Sexual Function and Satisfaction, and 3) develop a conceptual framework for the measurement of sexual well-being on which a new supplemental measure will be built. Methods: WWPD (n = 59) were recruited from an online health registry through a large academic medical center and took part in semistructured focus groups and interviews exploring experiences with sexuality, intimate relationships, sexual function, and sexual and reproductive health care. Interviews were transcribed and coded using an inductive approach to thematic analysis. Results: Participants expressed that their sexual well-being extends beyond simply physical function and includes aspects of their environment, society, and intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. From themes that emerged from the qualitative data, we developed a conceptual framework of sexual well-being, which includes sexual health and sexual self-efficacy. The framework is composed of five constructs that impact sexual health and sexual self-efficacy: physical factors, intrapersonal factors, environmental factors, relationships and partner opportunity, and stigma. Conclusions: This conceptual framework can be used to develop patient-reported outcome measures items relevant to the experiences of WWPD, facilitate conversations between providers and patients, and identify areas to target for sexual wellness interventions.
... This coincides with what was stated by other authors, regarding the importance of the development and promotion of values, acceptance, support, and respect for people with disabilities as tools to reduce stereotypes and avoid isolation and exclusion (28-31) As for eroticism, the need for satisfactory and full sex life, regardless of disability, was evident. As other authors have observed (32), people with disabilities are often falsely described as "asexual," without the same needs as people without disabilities (33)(34)(35)(36). Regarding sexual encounters, although some manifested the increase in sensitivity in other areas of the body, in men the concentric conception predominated, not recognizing other forms of sexual expression, generating feelings of annulment of their sexuality; especially in those people who have lost sensation in the genital area. ...
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Background Globally 1 in 7 people experience some type of disability. In Latin America, as in other regions, there are programs focused on protecting sexual and reproductive rights. However, in Peru don’t exist programs, protocols, or guidelines that include a specialist (sexologist or trained health professional) in the health system, which allows for improving the quality of life and well-being of this population. Therefore, the study aims to analyze the experience of sexuality of people with motor disabilities to propose actions that contribute to improving their quality of life. Methods The interpretive phenomenological approach and the semi-structured in-depth interview with 60 questions were used, which was applied to 7 people (4 women and 3 men) with acquired motor disability. Results In this study observed diversity in the experience of sexuality. While some people experience it without fear; others have canceled their sexual activity. It could be because, in addition to physical limitations, they experience psychosocial limitations such as pain, functional alterations, depression, low self-esteem, discrimination, exclusion, stigma, socio-environmental barriers, etc. Therefore, the study reflected the double discrimination suffered by women (for being a woman and having a disability) and the absence of sexual education, counseling, or sexual therapy by specialized professionals. Other factors are the influence of religion, society, and culture that might condition and limit their sexuality. This reflects the current situation in Peru and other countries in the region, where the sexuality of persons with disabilities continues to be a complex and ambiguous issue. Conclusions The review of the profile and level of specialization of the health services professionals involved in the integral medical care of people with disabilities and their couples is required because of their need for adequate and specialized attention for their better adaptation to the new condition.
... According to the World Health Organization (WHO) [5], sexuality, which encompasses sex and intimacy, is a central aspect of being human and is closely interlinked with concepts of self-esteem and quality of life [6]. When the sexuality needs of people with SCI are not met, they can experience poorer physical, emotional and psychosocial outcomes [7]. ...
Article
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This study sought to understand what sexuality support Australian health professionals currently provide to people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their perspectives on what changes may better support the sexuality needs of people with SCI. Australian Health professionals who had worked with people with SCI within the last 10 years were invited to participate in an online survey. Results were analyzed using content analysis and descriptive statistics. The 39 participants were from a range of health professions including medical, allied health, nursing, and peer support. Participants worked in various service settings, with the highest frequency in the community (33%) or inpatient rehabilitation (28%). Analysis indicated 85% of participants had provided sexuality support, however this provision was rarely routine. Discussing sexuality education topics were reported to be routinely provided for less than 16% of participants. Overall, 32% of participants felt sexuality was addressed ‘not well at all’ in their workplace. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses produced five themes: barriers to supporting sexuality, health professionals require training, utilizing a team approach, responsibility to initiate conversation , and involving others in support. Barriers to provision included stigma and lack of education. Commonly suggested strategies to improve practice included: increasing sexuality training, utilizing a team approach, initiating the conversation of sexuality early, and consensual inclusion of significant others in sexuality support. The results therefore indicate sexuality support is not routinely provided to people with SCI and findings suggest a need for sexuality training, utilizing a team approach, initiating the conversation, and including significant others.
... The existing literature provides us with a lengthy list of factors that contribute to mental health, e.g. physical health of a person (Chang et al., 2001), absence of psychopathologies (Westerhof and Keyes, 2010), possession of higher levels of positive personal attributes and lesser levels of adverse behaviors (Hinkley et al., 2014), possession of a good living environment (Tennant, 1995) and adequate social status (Huang et al., 2017), extraversion in personality (Argyle and Lu, 1990), optimism for future (Cummins and Nistico, 2002), happy marriage (Naess et al., 2015;Liu et al., 2013), sexual satisfaction (Woloski-Wruble et al., 2010), body image (Moin et al., 2009), financial stability and job satisfaction (Powdthavee et al., 2015;Amah, 2009;Wright and Bonett, 2007; participants, the second phase did exploratory factor analysis by involving 744 participants and the last phase of the study carried out a confirmatory factor analysis along with the convergent and discriminant validities by involving 1,831 participants (539 men and 1,292 women). All the participants were between 18 and 56 years of age with a mean age of 21.65 years. ...
Article
Background: ‘Psychosocial health’ is a new term to comprehend the already established factors involved in mental health and psychological wellbeing. The term has not been specifically defined and explained within the framework of Psychology. Method: The study proposed and validated a new model of psychosocial health. Principal component analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis were conducted by involving a total of 4086 participants. Results: Psychosocial health was interpreted as the “sexual, emotional, social, environmental, cognitive, religious, moral, and spiritual satisfaction” of a person. The proposed model of psychosocial health was statistically validated. The additional findings revealed significantly higher levels of psychosocial health in women and significant inverse correlations between psychosocial health and age. Conclusion: The current paper provided a comprehensive picture of psychosocial health from a psychological perspective and presented a statistically reliable tool for measuring psychosocial health.
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The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between physical activity, body satisfaction, psychological distress, and life satisfaction. In addition, the effects of impulse and compulsive shopping behaviors concerning body satisfaction and psychological distress are analyzed. Two hundred thirty female college students participated in an online survey. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. The results indicated that physical activity positively influences body image and ultimately improves life satisfaction. Compulsive shopping negatively affects psychological distress for individuals with poor body image. Physical activity professionals should recognize the factors that will impact one's life satisfaction.
Chapter
Physiotherapy provides the restoration of physical function and an increase in quality of life. It also allows daily life activities to be performed painlessly and independently. The aim of physiotherapy is to restore the patient’s functional efficiency as quickly as possible by improving movement functions. Physiotherapy methods are used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in the treatment of women with pelvic floor and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an evidence-based, first-line treatment for many pelvic floor problems, including incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. Studies have shown that pelvic floor physiotherapy programs can not only alleviate pelvic floor dysfunctions but also improve sexual function. However, other physiotherapy methods used to improve general health also increase well-being and quality of life, thus improving function reducing disability and sexual dysfunction.KeywordsSexual healthChronic painPhysiotherapySexual functionTreatment
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