Research Reports - A biopsychosocial analysis of sexuality in adult males and their partners after traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2016 Jun 3:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]

Bivona U(1), Antonucci G(1,)(2), Contrada M(1,)(2), Rizza F(2), Leoni F(1),
Zasler ND(3,)(4), Formisano R(1).

PURPOSE: The primary aim of this study was to investigate changes in sexual
function in males and their partners following severe TBI. Secondary aims of the
study were to explore the relationship between selected sociodemographic,
emotional/behavioural and sexual function variables.
METHODS: Twenty males with a history of severe TBI and 20 healthy controls (HC)
and their respective partners were recruited. Sexual life was assessed with the
Sexuality Evaluation Schedule Assessment Monitoring (SESAMO). Study participant
level of self-awareness was evaluated by the Awareness Questionnaire, whereas
their neuropsychiatric and psychopathological statuses were assessed by the NPI,
the HAM-D and STAI.
RESULTS: A reduction in desire and frequency of sexual intercourse was found in
all survivors and their partners. Moreover, higher levels of survivor depression
correlated with lower partner harmony. Survivor feelings toward their partners
gradually decreased over time, as did the ability to make decisions as a couple.
The comparison with HC couples revealed that both survivors' and their partners'
exaggerated the extent of disease.
CONCLUSIONS: After male severe TBI, men appear to have a reduced quality of their
sexual life, which may be more a result of relationship dysfunction than a sexual
performance deficit related to their brain injury history.
 

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