Research Reports - Changes in sexual functioning from 6 to 12 months following traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 May/June;28(3):179-185

Hanks RA, Sander AM, Millis SR, Hammond FM, Maestas KL

OBJECTIVE:: To investigate longitudinal changes in sexual functioning during the
first year following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). DESIGN::
Prospective cohort study. SETTING:: Community. PARTICIPANTS:: 182 persons (53
women and 129 men) with moderate to severe TBI who were admitted to 1 of 6
participating TBI Model System centers and followed in the community at 6 and 12
months after injury. MAIN MEASURES:: Derogatis Interview for Sexual
Functioning-Self-Report (DISF-SR); Global Sexual Satisfaction Index (GSSI).
RESULTS:: Mean T-scores on the DISF-SR Arousal subscale demonstrated marginal
improvement over time, with a 2.59-point increase (P = .05) from 6 to 12 months
after injury. There were no significant differences over this 6-month period on
the remaining DISF-SR subscales, including sexual cognition/fantasy, sexual
behavior/experience, and orgasm. There was no significant change in satisfaction
with sexual functioning on the GSSI from 6 months (72% satisfied) to 12 months
(71% satisfied). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:: Sexual function and satisfaction
appears to be stable in those with moderate to severe TBI from 6 to 12 months
after injury, with the exception of minimal improvement in arousal. These
findings, to our knowledge, reflect the first evidence regarding prospective
changes in sexual functioning in this population. Future research can go far to
assist clinicians in treatment planning and managing patient expectations of
recovery of sexual functioning after TBI.

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