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Altered sexual functio...

Altered sexual function after central neurological system trauma is reflective of region of injury; brain vs spinal cord Main Image

Altered sexual function after central neurological system trauma is reflective of region of injury; brain vs spinal cord

Wed 13 Jan 2021

Research examines and compares the impact of brain and spinal injury on sexual function

Objective

To compare and contrast the contributory effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) on sexual function and social relationship opportunities, hypothesizing that patterns of change in sexual function would follow etiology.

Design

Cross-sectional, case-matched survey of community living individuals with TBI, SCI or both (termed dual diagnosis).

Participants

Consecutive sample of participants with TBI (n = 25), SCI (n = 24) and dual diagnosis (n = 28), an average 3.6 years post-rehabilitation discharge.

Methods

Participants were interviewed using a modified version of the ‘Sexuality after Spinal Injury Questionnaire.’

Results

Almost all respondents (97%) perceived adverse post-injury change in their experience of neurosexual function and/or social relationships. Physiological aspects of sexual function (e.g., erection, orgasm) were most affected by SCI whereas social relationships appeared more affected by TBI. People with dual diagnoses exhibited a combination of features. Participants with SCI (with or without TBI) were significantly more likely to have their concerns about sexual function discussed during rehabilitation than the TBI group.

Conclusion

TBI and SCI produce predictable impacts upon sexual function following injury, the impact of which were less frequently addressed during inpatient rehabilitation for those with TBI.

Reference: Baguley, I.J., Barden, H.L., Nott, M.T. (2020). Altered sexual function after central neurological system trauma is reflective of region of injury; brain vs spinal cord. Brain Injury, 34 (13 - 14)1732-1740.

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