The elephant in the room : a critical interpretive synthesis of older adults’ sexuality

Authors & affiliation

Adina Cismaru-Inescu, Stéphane Adam, Anne Nobels, Philippe Kempeneers, Marie Beaulieu, Christophe Vandeviver, Ines Keygnaert, Laurent Nisen


Objectives: This study aimed to explore past studies that have focused exclusively on the sexuality of adults older than 65 from a positive public health approach. Methods: We performed a critical interpretive synthesis, starting with the literature review on sexual behaviors in later life, adding policy documents on aging sexuality, and bringing new perspectives. Results: Older adults continue to be sexually active. Healthcare professionals lack knowledge and communication skills surrounding aging sexuality and no policies before 2013 mention aging sexuality. Conclusions: We posit that society's view of later life sexuality reflects on practice, policies, and research on this topic, which influence back society's view.

Publication date:


Staff members:

Ines Keygnaert

Link to publication

Open link


Cismaru_et_al_2021_IJSH.pdf (restricted)

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