Hands up to talk about sex

Monday 23 Nov 2015

The search is on for participants in a new study at Charles Sturt University (CSU) on the impact of upper limb injuries or conditions on sexual activity.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) student Ms Miranda Schroeder from the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga is seeking people to interview for her research project.

She wants to understand the impact of ongoing upper limb conditions or injuries on a couple's participation in sexual activities within their relationships.

Ms Schroeder said, "People can be interviewed face-to-face or by telephone as a couple or individually. 

"This includes people with ongoing upper limb conditions including amputations, trauma or injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or De Quervain's syndrome.

"I want to know about their experiences including how their condition can affect their sex lives, how they adapt and what information or help they would like from health care professionals.

"My research will inform the health care profession on how best they can assist people living with upper limb conditions.

"A satisfying sex life can improve relationships and quality of life. However, sexual concerns of clients can be overlooked in their treatment. I hope my Honours project will go some way to change that problem.

"All research participants will be anonymous in my study, so they won't be identified."

Ms Schroeder's supervisor and CSU lecturer in occupational therapy, Ms Natalie Hamam said, "Miranda first contacted me while in second year with the idea to focus on upper limb conditions and the impact they can have on peoples' sex lives. 

"Her willingness to see sexual activities as an ordinary activity that people may need support with reflects well for the University's occupational therapy program and the profession. 

"Sex won't be an issue for everyone, but when there is an issue, clients expect support from health care providers and this research will improve the chances of them being provided with help," said Ms Hamam.

The CSU student has distributed information on her project to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hand therapy practices from Wagga Wagga to Wangaratta.

She has also contacted organisations including Arthritis Australia, People with Disabilities, and the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

For information about how to participate in the study, contact Ms Schroeder on csuupperlimbstudy@gmail.com.


Media contact: Ms Fiona Halloran and Ms Emily Malone, (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

The project by occupational therapy student Ms Miranda Schroeder has received ethics approval from the CSU Human Research Ethics Committee. 

Ms Schroeder and CSU academic Ms Natalie Hamam are available for interview. They are in the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga. Contact CSU Media.