EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF HEALTH CARE TAKERS AFFECTS THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SEXUALITY OF ADULTS WITH MILD TO MODERATE INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
The Open University of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
One of the factors that contribute health care taker’s avoidance in taking care of the sexuality needs and concerns of mild to moderate adults with Intellectual Disability (ID) is their pre-existing educational level. According to Kamapalan & Li (2009), education has greater influence on attitude towards the sexuality of individuals with ID. Several studies (Cuskelly & Bryde, 2004; Cuskelly & Gilmore, 2007; Murray, MacDonald, Brown & Levenson, 1999; Karellou, 2003) done in Australia, England and Greek revealed that education level was one of the main factors affecting their sexual attitude regarding people with ID.
The aim of this study is to explore whether the educational level of health care takers in Hong Kong also determines and affect their attitude towards the sexuality concepts and needs of adult with mild to moderate ID, no previous study had been done on this aspect in Hong Kong before.
A convenience sampling of health care takers of mild to moderate Intellectual Disability (ID) was asked to complete the Chinese translated questionnaire, Attitude to Sexuality Questionnaire – Individuals with an intellectual disability (ASQ – ID) which have a high test-retest reliability (r= 0.91) and a good internal consistency (α > 0.90). ASQ – ID is a 5 point likert scale with total score ranges from 28 to 168; a higher score indicates a more positive attitude on the perception of defining sexuality of mild to moderate adults with ID.
A total of 100 complete questionnaires were obtained. The educational level of the health care takers ranges from grade 11 to above bachelor degree level. 46 % (n= 46) of the health care takers have complete grade 11 education, 15% (n= 15) of the health care takers obtain a diploma educational level, 11% (n=11) of the health care takers had obtain a higher diploma or associated degree educational level and lastly 28% (n=28) had a bachelor degree or higher educational level. The health care taker’s ASQ-ID score was compared using their educational level which ranges from 104.02 to 117.96 and it shows that health care takers with a higher educational level are more acceptable in perceiving sexuality of mild to moderate adults with Intellectual Disability (ID).
The mean of total score in ASQ-ID had a significant difference on education levels, which showed a significant difference especially between ‘the bachelor or above’ and ‘grade 11 or equivalent qualification’. It showed that Chinese health care takers with ‘Bachelor or above’ had more liberal attitude than ‘grade 11 or equivalent qualification’ towards sexuality of adults with mild to moderate ID in Hong Kong. The result was consistent to the previous studies in other countries such as Singapore and Canada (Kamapalam & Li, 2009; Murray & Minnes, 1994). These previous studies also found that education has greater influence on attitude towards the sexuality of individuals with Intellectual Disability (ID); that more educated health care takers usually had more liberal attitudes towards sexuality.