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Patricia Lenahan - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Patricia Lenahan Patricia Lenahan

Adjunct Lecturer Dept. of Adults and Healthy Aging | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Patricia Lenahan is a licensed clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, and state-certified domestic violence victim advocate.



Patricia Lenahan Publication






PATRICIA LENAHAN, a licensed clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, and state-certified domestic violence victim advocate, is an adjunct lecturer, teaching in the health concentration.

Lenahan was director of the Comprehensive Care Center of Share Our Selves, a non-profit medical, dental and social services agency in Costa Mesa for two years before returning to teaching. She also is a founding member of the Diversity Training Institute for Public Safety and a member of the scientific review and educational committees of the Academy on Violence and Abuse.

Before retiring in 2007, Lenahan was an associate professor in the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and director of Behavioral Medicine for the Department of Family Medicine, where she served as the content theme coordinator for medical school curriculum in diversity and cultural competence, sexuality and family violence. In addition, she was the first social worker on the Program Committee for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Lenahan has lectured nationally and internationally on behavioral issues and medical education topics. She has also written extensively on sexuality and family violence and is the co-author/co-editor of the book, Cinemeducation: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Film in Medical Education.

Education (1)

University of Chicago: A.M.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Marriage Therapy Social Services Agency Family Therapy Social Work

Industry Expertise (4)

Social Services Research Education/Learning Writing and Editing

Accomplishments (1)

Social Worker of the Year (professional)

National Association of Social Workers Foundation, Orange County - California Chapter (2012)


Articles & Publications (3)

Primary Care–Based Interventions for Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review American Journal of Preventive Medicine


Primary care providers are uniquely positioned to respond to patients’ disclosure of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, the research on primary care–based IPV interventions has not been systematically synthesized, making it difficult for providers, policymakers, and researchers to understand how to effectively intervene in the primary care setting. This systematic review summarizes primary care–based interventions for patients experiencing IPV.

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Lights, Camera, Action: Using Film to Teach the ACGME Competencies Literature and the Arts in Medical Education


This article describes the use of “cinemeducation” as a tool to facilitate the teaching of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies as part of an overall family medicine curriculum. Cinemeducation refers to the use of movie clips or whole movies to help educate learners about biopsycho-social-spiritual aspects of health care. It is a teaching tool
that is receiving considerable attention in the medical literature. Examples are given of a movie clip appropriate for teaching each of the six competencies.

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Chronic illness and sexual functioning. American Family Physician


Chronic illness and its treatments can have a negative impact on sexual functioning. The mechanism of interference may be neurologic, vascular, endocrinologic, musculoskeletal, or psychologic. Patients may mistakenly perceive a medical prohibition to the resumption of sexual activity, or they may need advice on changes in sexual activity to allow satisfactory sexual functioning. Family physicians must be proactive in diagnosing and managing the alterations in sexual functioning that can occur with chronic illness. Patient education and reassurance are essential. Before sexual activity is resumed, patients with cardiovascular disease should be stratified according to risk. Patients with musculoskeletal disease should be educated about positional changes that may improve comfort during sexual activity. Psychosocial concerns should be addressed in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In patients with cancer, it is important to discuss sexual problems that may arise because of negative body image and the effects of chemotherapy. Patients who have disabilities can benefit from the use of muscle relaxants, technical adaptations, and expansion of their sexual repertoire.

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