Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Latha Reddy, PA-C


Context: Healthcare providers in general are not routinely educated about the BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) alternative sexual minority, and therefore may treat these people differently. An uneducated or under educated provider may base their diagnosis and treatment plans on inaccurate or misinformation for their patients who participate in the BDSM lifestyle. This may cause BDSM patients to be less candid about their sexual choices and prevent them from getting compassionate comprehensive care. This study investigated the attitudes and knowledge of health care providers based in the United States to assess their perceptions about patients who participate in BDSM. This study also provides tips and information for providers to follow in order to open the lines of communication and help provide compassionate care for the BDSM community. This study will also serve as a training aid for educating providers on common misconceptions and mistruths about sexual minorities.

Objective: To evaluate the knowledge base and attitudes of health care providers toward patients practicing BDSM sexual lifestyles.

Design: Convenience survey sent to licensed healthcare providers, most of which practice in Oregon.

Setting: This study was completed using a proprietary internet based software survey program 'SurveyMonkey' with invitations sent to licensed healthcare providers mostly in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Results: A total of 113 surveys were completed. Results are discussed in more detail below.

Conclusions: Increased emphasis on alternative sexual lifestyles during didactic and clinical segments of any medical progran1 would be helpful to both providers and patients.


The digital version of this project is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be requested via interlibrary loan by eligible borrowers from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender. (Library Use: NL)