What is known about sexual health after pediatric acquired brain injury: A scoping review
G Simpson, M Simons-Coghill, A Bates, G Caron
RESULTS: A search conducted using OVID and PubMed databases yielded 2021 citations with 28 publications meeting the inclusion criteria (six reviews, one expert account, 19 observational and two intervention studies). Teenagers with ABI reported poorer body image, feeling less sexually or physically attractive than sex and age matched non brain-damaged controls. The one study with findings on sexual orientation, reported 15% of adolescents with ABI identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Precocious puberty was a rare outcome from ABI, but the most common focus of the publications (14/28). Finally, two case studies (genital touching and classroom masturbation respectively) found that behavioral interventions were an effective means of extinguishing inappropriate sexual behaviour after childhood ABI.
CONCLUSIONS: Sexual health is a neglected area of research in post-ABI care for children/adolescents. A better understanding of the needs and challenges will help rehabilitation professionals and parents provide more informed and effective supports.