Background Sexuality is an important dimension of personality and human body, therefore any involvement in this area should be considered as important. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes inability in various performance areas mostly in the musculoskeletal, but few are known about sexual problems. Sexual disturbances in RA could influence overall functionality and disease activity.
Objectives The aim of this study using CIE-10 was to describe different type of factors that may influence the prevalence and worsening of sexual disturbances in patients with RA and explore a correlation with disease activity.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in a specialized clinic dedicated to care patients with RA. 252 patients were included in the study, which were evaluated by the area of psychology, which information was collected through semi-structured interviews and non-probability sampling. Descriptive epidemiology was applied for continuous variables, using measures of central tendency and dispersion for categorical and qualitative variables by averages and percentages; and Pearson’s statistics for bi-variated analysis.
Results 252 patients, 214 (84.9%) were women and 38 (15.1%) were men. Patients had a DAS28-3.52±0.85 in average. Medium age is 56.9±9 years; 44.4% of patients were medium socio-economical level and the 40.9% were low socio-economical level; 36% was married, 19.8% is divorced, 15.5% is single and others undefined. Related to education 19.4% no education, 25% had elementary school, 29% didn’t finish high school, 18.2 were technical and only 8.4% finish high school. Finally, 121 (56.5%) of women reported no sexual activity, while 93 (43.5%) report sexual activity. 12 (31.6%) of men reported no sexual activity, while 26(68.4%) report sexual activity. There are precipitating, predisposing and maintenance factors that can be affect sexual life disturbances. Between precipitating factors in women: 20 (27.8%) infidelity, 17 (23.6%) poor sexual education, 17 (23.6%) poor vagina lubrication, while in men: 7 (26.9%) poor sexual education, 5 (19.2%) insecurity in sexual male role. Between predisposing factors in women: 17 (20.5%) inadequate autoperception, 14 (16.9%) infidelity, 11(13.2%) poor communication with sexual partner, 9 (10.8%) loss ofattraction forthe couple, while in men: 13 (50%) anxiety aboutsexualperformance, 5 (19.2%) loss ofattraction forthe couple, 4 (18.1%) avoid sexual contact. Between maintenance factors in women: 16 (16.5%) general alteration of couple relationship, 14 (14.4%) previous sexual failure, 13 (13.9%) infidelity, 12 (12.9%) depression, while in men: 9 (34.6%) anxiety aboutsexualperformance, 8 (30.7%) apprehension in general. It was established a correlation between a low level of sexual activity and higher disease activity (p<0.023) and alsobetween predisposing factors and higher disease activity (p<0.008).
Conclusions According to these findings men and women have a high percentage of sexual disturbances in relation to RA and there are many factors that may influence the prevalence and worsening of sexual disturbances in these populations with RA.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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