Sexual Health as a Part of Physiotherapy: The Voices of Physiotherapy Students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the project was to explore and describe the views of physiotherapy students concerning sexual health as a part of physiotherapy education, and to enable them in their future profession as physiotherapists to be able to discuss sexual health matters with patients in an informed, sensitive and relaxed way. A qualitative interview study with data collection through focus group interviews was performed and analyzed with thematic content analysis. There was a strong consensus among the physiotherapy students in believing that sexual health should be acknowledged by physiotherapists. The theme that emerged from the data was: Sexual health-a professional challenge. The interviews resulted in the following categories: professional challenge, personal life experiences, communication, perceptive patient understanding, environmental factors and need for competence development. Students are positive towards working with sexual health. They believe that sexual health is an important aspect of quality of life, and therefore should be a part of physiotherapy education. Sexual health needs to be more addressed in the physiotherapy education. Students lack knowledge of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, sexual health and communication about sensitive issues. Perceived barriers towards working with sexual health could probably be lessened with increased education, but further research is needed. Personal development, knowledge, experience and environmental factors facilitate communication about sexual health.


External organisations
  • Jönköping County Council
  • Värnamo Hospital
  • Luleå University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy
  • Pedagogical Work


  • Sexuality, Physical therapy, Rehabilitation, Sexual well-being, Education, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-532
JournalSexuality and Disability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch