Maggie Syme is currently a Research Assistant Professor at San Diego State University and a researcher with the SDSU/UCSD Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnership. Her work was recently featured in an article for the American Psychological Association (APA) Monitor. The article can be viewed here.
Ms. Syme’s research has focused on the intersection between aging and sexual health and well-being, with projects related to aging cancer survivors, sexual consent capacity in cognitively compromised older adults, and the conceptual development of older adult sexual well-being. She has recently been awarded a small projects grant by the Alzheimer’s Association to inform the development of procedures to assess and discuss sexual consent in long-term care settings.
Her work focuses on older adult sexuality and is an often ignored topic, yet often cited as integral to quality of life in older adults. Further, they are often in need of sexual healthcare discussions to enhance functioning and promote safe sexual practices. Maggie and a team of clinicians and researchers have been working toward a broader understanding of older adult sexuality and various clinical applications, including culturally competent assessment and treatment for older adult sexual well-being. Works that have been completed include a chapter written for clinicians to help them understand the key concepts of sexuality assessment across several healthcare settings. It included several resources for assessment tools, clinical interview content and strategies, and brief assessment models. In addition, the work has emphasized the use of a conceptual model for older adult sexuality that encompasses both dysfunction and well-being, which has been featured across our works on sexuality. It is the hope that this model will be refined by gathering data from older adults on their perceptions of sexual well-being.