Sexual Health and Ageing, Perspectives and Education (SHAPE) Project
Professor Jane Hocking
+613 8344 0762
Despite evidence that sexual activity enhances physical and mental health as we age, little research has explored how sexual health and ageing is managed in primary care. Some evidence shows healthcare practitioners (HCPs) think sexual health is not a ‘legitimate’ topic to discuss with older patients. Conversely, other evidence indicates that older patients wait for HCPs to introduce the topic, suggesting older adults are not receiving the appropriate management. This is concerning given the fifty percent increase in sexually transmitted infection rates in the over-60s in the last five years and growing rates of sexual dysfunction associated with chronic diseases increasing age.
The SHAPE project investigates the barriers and facilitators to sexual health discussions occurring from the perspective of both the HCPs and older patients. It will also assesses the feasibility of developing a communication support resource to help facilitate sexual health discussions occuring.
A project website has been set up at https://shapeprojectblog.wordpress.com/
Jane Hocking, Principal Researcher
Meredith Temple-Smith, Co-Researcher
Adrian Bickerstaffe, Co-Researcher
Sue Malta, Co-Researcher and Project Coordinator
National Ageing Research Institute (NARI)
Women’s Health in the South East
University of Melbourne, Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative (HARI)
This research project is available to Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
Malta S, Temple-Smith M, Hocking J & Bickerstaffe A. It takes two to tango: discussing sexual health with older patients in primary care. On Line Opinion 2016; December 19.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care, Screening and early detection of disease
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.
Department / Centre
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics
MDHS Research library
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