Psychiatric comorbidity influenced fibromyalgia patients’ sexual satisfaction

Bazzichi L Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013;31:S81-S85.

  • February 24, 2014

Psychiatric comorbidity had a greater influence on sexual satisfaction of patients with fibromyalgia compared with the disease itself, according to study results.

Researchers in Pisa, Italy, studied 100 women with fibromyalgia (FM; mean age, 47.8 years) and 40 age-matched healthy women (controls; mean age, 45.3 years). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis 1 Disorders-Patient Edition was used for psychiatric diagnosis. Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS) was used to measure sexual satisfaction. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), tender point (TP) count and visual analogue scale (VAS) also were used.

The presence or absence of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with FM (all FM, only FM, FM with a lifetime psychiatric disorder, FM with a current psychiatric disorder) was used for data analysis.

Twenty-four patients with FM and current psychiatric comorbidity had ISS values significantly higher (41.5 ± 17.5) than the 45 patients with only FM (27.3 ± 17.4; P<.05) and controls (24.1 ± 12.8; P<.01). The patients with current psychiatric comorbidity had significantly higher FIQ values (68.4 ± 13.5) compared to those of patients with only FM (55.7 ± 17.9; P<.005). VAS pain or TP count did not have significant differences between the three patients groups.

“Sexual satisfaction of FM patients, measured by the ISS, is affected by the presence of psychiatric comorbidity,” the researchers concluded. “In particular, the presence of current psychiatric disease appears to have considerable weight in the sexual part of the relationship, suggesting that emotions may play a crucial role in the sexual health of FM patients.

“Given the importance that the issue of sexual aspects has in relation to the quality of life, we support the importance of an interdisciplinary treatment. The assessment of psychiatric comorbidity should be included in the routine diagnostics of FM in order to develop prevention and treatment strategies in collaboration with gynecologists and psychiatrists.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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