University of Leicester
2009haywardleDClinPsy.pdf (915 kB)

Inappropriate sexual behaviour and dementia; an exploration of staff experiences

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posted on 2010-03-19, 10:23 authored by Laura Emily Hayward
Literature Review Dementia care in acute services is under researched, not least an examination of the emotional impact of the work. This review aimed to explore and synthesise the available literature regarding the experiences of staff in acute care settings. A systematic review was conducted using systematic and transparent methods. Themes, as experienced and described by staff, included environmental inadequacies and insufficient knowledge of dementia. The emotional impact of the work was elicited and areas of enlightened practice were indicated. Supporting patients with a dementia in the acute care setting appears to be complicated by a range of influences including case complexity, insufficient resources and staff constructions of the patient. The review highlighted areas of need as identified by staff. Empirical Paper Research assessing the impact of Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour (ISB) on staff working in dementia care is circumscribed. This study explored staff experience of ISB exhibited by older adults with a dementia. Interviews with fourteen staff working within an inpatient setting were undertaken and analysed using a Grounded Theory methodology. The core category, ‘A Question of Attribution’ was identified, describing the process experienced when confronted with ISB. Four main categories were inducted representing participants initial experiences, their contextualising of the behaviour, their process of interpretation and pragmatic management of ISB. Staff’s feelings about ISB appeared equivocal with some staff reporting indifference, others feeling violated. Findings imply that the impact of ISB should be more routinely considered in preparing staff for working with patients with a dementia. Critical Appraisal This paper outlined numerous reflections and observations made during the research journey with consideration of the chosen methodology, study limitations and the personal impact of conducting the research, in addition to the learning experience.



Robertson, N.

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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