Medizinische Universität Graz Austria/Österreich - Forschungsportal - Medical University of Graz

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Gewählte Publikation:

Schmidt, E.
Sexuality and partnership in Huntington's disease and Multiple sclerosis
[ Dissertation ] Medizinische Universität Graz; 2007.


Autor/innen der Med Uni Graz:
Reininghaus Eva
Bonelli Raphael M
Pieringer Walter

Huntingtons Disease (HD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are both severe chronic diseases. In addition to the neurological problems psychiatric symptoms as depressive mood, anxiety and in terminal stages dementia are common and together with the steadily progressing course leading to increasing problems in activities of daily life and physical disability. The aim of this study was to compare the impact on sexuality and partnership. We tried to find difference between both groups- that are supposed to be part of the disease itself- as we assumed that the psychosocial consequences should be similar. 30 HD and 27 MS patients were interviewed by a personal interview and by different standardised questionnaires. About one third of the patients of both groups reported on sometimes decreased sexual activity, the mean frequency was low in contrast to the normal population in Europe. In addition, HD patients indicated increased sexual interests, higher levels of arousal, more frequent orgasm and fewer sexual and partnership problems than MS patients. Interestingly HD patients experienced more break-ups of relationship than MS patients despite significant higher satisfaction, self-confidence and body image. Possibly MS patients are more able to find an alternative interpersonal level with their partner despite sexual dysfunctions and reduced libido. Furthermore the disinhibited attitudes of HD patients even in early stages of the illness and prevalent before clinical symptoms of dementia could be very difficult to handle for the partner and inhibit new strategies in relationship.

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