Sexual Self-Concept and General Health in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Saadat, Seyed Hassan; Ramezani, Arash; Ahmadi, Khodabakhsh
October 2015
Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal;Oct2015, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p1
Academic Journal
Background: There are several studies regarding sexual dysfunction in chronic diseases such as diabetes and renal failure; however, no significant study has been done on Iranian rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Objectives: In this study, we aimed to identify and compare sexual dysfunction between RA patients and the normal population. Patients and Methods: In this case-control study, two groups of females (87 RA patients and 89 controls) were randomly selected from the rheumatology clinic of Baqiyatallah Hospital, Tehran, Iran. General health questionnaire (GHQ-28) and multidimensional sexual selfconcept questionnaire (MSSCQ) were used to evaluate RA patients. We used SPSS for statistical analysis mainly by the t-test and chi-square test. P values less than 0.05 were considered significant. Results: In the GHQ-28 evaluation, RA patients had lower social function; however somatization rated higher in normal patients (P < 0.05). Sexual health was lower in the RA population (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found in sexual desire. Except sexual pain, other sexual health parameters were lower in RA patients. The scores were as follow: sensation 13.6 ± 4.4 vs. 12.2 ± 4.5, P = 0.024; lubrication 6.9 ± 2.1 vs. 6.2 ± 2.1, P = 0.017; orgasm 10.4 ± 2.8 vs. 9.5 ± 3.2, P = 0.37; pain 10.1 ± 2.2 vs. 10.8 ± 1.9, P = 0.013; enjoyment 23.8 ± 5.8 vs. 21.3 ± 7.5, P = 0.009 and partner related - 8.5 ± 1.7 vs. 7.6 ± 2.4, P = 0.005. Furthermore, the concern of losing their sexual partner was higher in the normal population. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that almost all GHQ and MSSCQ parameters were lower in RA patients, which indicates lower quality sexual life in RA patients. We recommend further consideration for the treatment and care of these patients.


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