[Abstract] Understanding the multidimensional nature of sexuality after traumatic brain injury

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the association of sexuality with sociodemographic (age, sex, education), medical (injury severity, time since injury), physical (fatigue, pain, independence), neuropsychological (memory, attention, executive function), psychological (depression, anxiety, self-esteem), and social participation factors after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design

Survey. Individuals with TBI completed measures at a mean average of 2.78 years post-injury (range = 1-10.3 years).

Setting

All participants were community based at the time of data collection.

Participants

Eighty-four individuals with TBI consecutively recruited after discharge from rehabilitation and 88 age-, sex- and education-matched controls recruited from the general community.

Interventions

Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure

Brain Injury Questionnaire of Sexuality (BIQS).

Results

Individuals with TBI performed significantly worse on sexuality, mood and self-esteem measures compared to the healthy control group, supporting previous findings. Research findings highlighted a range of significant correlations between sociodemographic, physical, neuropsychological, psychological and social participation factors and sexuality outcomes after TBI. In the multiple regression model, older age, greater depression and lower self-esteem were significant predictors of poorer sexuality post-injury. Further analyses indicated that depression mediated the independent relationships between lower social participation and greater fatigue with a decline in sexuality after TBI.

Conclusions

These findings support sexuality changes after TBI as a multidimensional construct, highlighting depression as a key mechanism through which other factors may impact sexual functioning. Further research is needed to target assessment and intervention services for sexuality problems after TBI.

via Understanding the multidimensional nature of sexuality after traumatic brain injury – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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