Research Reports - Sexual functioning and the effect of fatigue in traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Jul 17

Goldin Y, Cantor JB, Tsaousides T, Spielman L, Gordon WA

OBJECTIVES:: The primary objective was to examine specific aspects of sexual
functioning (frequency, desired frequency, importance, and satisfaction) and
their relationship to fatigue in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
compared with those without brain injury. The relationship of demographic
variables, emotional well-being, and health-related quality of life to sexual
functioning was also explored.
PARTICIPANTS:: 200 community-dwelling adults with self-reported mild-to-severe
TBI and 83 individuals without brain injury.
MEASURES:: Participation Objective, Participation Subjective, Fatigue Assessment
Instrument, Global Fatigue Index, Beck Depression Inventory, and SF-36 Health
Survey.
METHODS:: Data were collected through administration of self-report measures and
interviews as part of a larger study of post-TBI fatigue.
RESULTS:: Several aspects of sexual activity (frequency, desired frequency, and
importance) were closely related to specific features of fatigue among
individuals with TBI. Women with TBI reported lower frequency and lower
importance of sex than men. In individuals without brain injury, the impact of
fatigue was limited to the frequency of sexual activity with no sex differences
observed.
CONCLUSIONS:: Fatigue plays a different role in the subjective experience of
sexual activity for men and women with TBI than for those without brain injuries.
Fatigue and sex should be taken into account in future research and interventions
focused on sexual function after TBI.

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