Assessment and treatment of depression may serve as a starting point for intervention in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who experience sexual dysfunction, according to a recent study. Since sexual dysfunction is a common symptom of MS that often goes unreported by both the patient and the clinician, identifying individuals who are at risk for sexual dysfunction concerns may help with clinician and patient burden in terms of routine assessment of this symptom. Patients with a diagnosis of MS (n=162) completed the Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19 during their neurology appointments at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Cleveland Clinic. These data were merged with Knowledge Program data collected as part of standard practice and included measures of mood, disability, and quality of life. Researchers found:
- Sexual dysfunction was present in 64.2% of the clinic sample.
- Patients with sexual dysfunction had significantly worse average MS-related disability and depressive symptom scores.
Domingo S, Kinzy T, Thompson N, Gales S, Stone L, Sullivan A. Factors associated with sexual dysfunction in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Implications for assessment and treatment. Int J MS Care. 2018;20(4):191-197. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2017-059.
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