Background Sexuality is an important dimension of personality and human body, therefore any involvement in this area should be considered as important. Sexual disturbances in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are poorly described in literature.
Objectives The aim of this study was to describe sexual disturbances using CIE-10 classification in a population with RA and a possible correlation with disease activity.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in a specialized clinic dedicated to care patients with RA. 349 patients were included in the study, which were seen 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. By means of Pearson's statistics it was analyzed bi-variated correlations.
Results The total sample of patients was 349, 279 (79.9%) were women and 70 (20.0%) were men, average DAS28-2.46. Average age is 58.1 years. 146 (52.3%) of women reported no sexual activity, while 133 (47.6%) report sexual activity. Concerning women with sexual activity, 27 (18.4%) reported satisfactory sexual activity, 33 (22.6%) reported no-satisfactory sexual activity, 25 (18.3%) reported lack or loss of sexual desire, 53 (36.3%) reported dyspareunia, and 4 (2.9%) orgasmic dysfunction. On the other hand 18 (25.7%) of men reported no sexual activity, while 54 (70.2%) report sexual activity. Concerning men with sexual activity, 6 (11.1%) reported premature ejaculation, 8 (14.8%) reported satisfactory sexual activity, 5 (12.8%) reported no-satisfactory sexual activity, 5 (9.2%) reported lack or loss of sexual desire, 7 (12.9%) orgasmic dysfunction, 4 (7.4%) reported dyspareunia. It was not established a correlation between level of sexual activity and disease activity using DAS28.
Conclusions According to these findings almost a half of men and women have a high percentage of sexual disturbances in relation to RA affecting their quality of life; on the other hand higher DAS28 is not correlated with fewer level of sexual activity.
Disclosure of Interest None declared