Research Reports - Sexuality in individuals with traumatic brain injury and their partners

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2016 Sep 28:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

Downing M(1), Ponsford J(1).

Whilst previous research has detailed the impact of TBI on an individual's
sexuality, few studies have investigated couples' sexuality where one partner has
sustained a TBI. The study assessed sexual function in individuals with TBI and
their partners. Fifty five individuals who had sustained TBI and their partners
completed the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Function-Self Report (DISF-SR). All
participants scored below the 50th percentile in relation to norms. Whilst
participants with TBI obtained lower T-scores than partners on all subscales
(except for sexual behaviour/experiences where scores were equivalent), as well
as the total score, none of these differences was significant. Item analysis
indicated that female participants with TBI reported significantly lower scores
than female partners on frequency of having normal lubrication. Normative
comparisons revealed that approximately one-third of individuals with TBI and
one-fifth of their partners scored below the second percentile. Given the high
frequency of sexual problems in individuals with TBI, which also impact their
partners, addressing sexual problems should be a priority in rehabilitation and
beyond. 

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