Community-Based Rehabilitation Programming for Sex(uality), Sexual Abuse Prevention, and Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Scoping Review

Tamara Lee Schindeler, Heather M Aldersey


Purpose: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities aims to protect the human rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. In low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), one way this goal is pursued is through Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR), a strategy to support the full and equal participation of people with disabilities. In spite of policy and community-based interventions, people with disabilities continue to experience inequities in many areas of life - one of these being their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) rights. This scoping review explored the literature to understand how CBR programming has supported sex(uality), sexual abuse prevention, and SRH for people with disabilities.

Methods: Arksey and O’Malley’s (2007) framework was used to identify relevant studies in academic and grey literature. This included six databases, the WHO website, and five Regional CBR Network websites. Relevant studies were selected using criteria and data was charted to examine the quantity, variation, and nature of CBR interventions.

Results: Fifteen studies were identified. The majority were implemented in Africa; targeted all people with disabilities, regardless of gender, age, or type of disability; and frequently focussed on the topic of HIV/AIDS.  The interventions were most commonly designed to educate people with disabilities on issues of sex(uality), sexual abuse prevention, or SRH.

Conclusion: A number of studies discussed CBR programmes that aim to support sex(uality), sexual abuse prevention and SRH for people with disabilities, yet gaps were identified that indicate that certain populations and topics are being overlooked by CBR interventions.

Implications: CBR practitioners can focus on filling the gaps identified in this review through future programming. Further action must concentrate on implementing a variety of CBR Matrix strategies to address comprehensive issues related to sex(uality), sexual abuse prevention, or SRH.


CBR; intervention; people with disabilities; human rights; sex; sexuality; HIV

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