Sexual dysfunction common among Parkinson’s disease patients
Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) usually suffer from sexual dysfunction, a recent study has found.
The researchers conducted a multicentre observational study including 203 PD patients (mean age, 68.36±8.5 years; 113 males). A semi-structured interview using a 40-item ad hoc questionnaire was performed to evaluate participant sociodemographic, illness perception, and sexuality. The International Index of Erectile Function and Female Sexual Function Index were also used.
While most (85 percent) of the PD patients were in a stable relationship, only 18.72 percent and 38.2 percent were satisfied and very satisfied with the relationship, respectively. Fifty-seven percent said that the disease affected their sexual life, mostly through reducing sexual desire and the frequency of intercourse.
Around 60 percent (n=120) of the participants had sexual dysfunction, which was more common among men (p=0.04) and older participants. Those with comorbidities, particularly diabetes mellitus (p<0.01), were likewise significantly more likely to report sexual dysfunction (p=0.04).
While most of the participants (35.46 percent) noted that they were calm and relaxed when dealing with sexual intercourse, 30.06 percent harboured negative moods, such as frustration, anxiety, and anger. The remaining 17.24 percent were indifferent towards sex.
“Clinicians dealing with neurological disorders should pay more attention to sexual issues, as discussing and treating sexual problems enters the framework of a holistic approach, which is mandatory in chronic illness, including PD,” the researchers said.
Future research is needed to validate the current findings, as well as to improve the management of sexual dysfunction among PD patients.