Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Individuals with developmental disabilities are at high risk for sexual abuse, exploitation, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Thorough screening by clinicians in outpatient settings recommending preventative measures to promote reproductive and sexual health, and developing caregiver trust are essential. The aim of this systematic review was to provide screening tools to assist clinicians in assessing the sexual histories of individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities. The Iowa model and the cognitive behavioral theory were used as the theoretical frameworks that guided and informed this project. A total of 148 articles were sought and, of the 34 articles reviewed, 19 were pertinent to synthesize the literature. Articles were appraised using the John Hopkins evidence-based practice model. Results from the existing literature showed that no screening tools are available to assess the sexual histories of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Thorough screening the sexual histories of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities could empower safe sexual practices and the attainment of a life with personal fulfillment for members of this population. The results of this project can result in positive social change by protecting the population of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities from exploitation, unplanned pregnancy, and sexually-transmitted diseases. Future research is needed to fill the gap in the field and develop sexual history screening tools for this population.