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Sexuality in people suffering from schizophrenia spectrum: relationship between sexual functioning, psychopathological symptoms and global functioning

Ciocca, G1; Di Lorenzo, G1; Sconci, V2; Bonanni, R2; Comite, G1; Di Michele, F2; Limoncin, E1; Mollaioli, D1; Cavallo, G3; Rossi, A 3; Siracusano, A1; Jannini, EA1

1: Department of Systems Medicine, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy; 2: Department of Mental Health, ASL 01, Avezzano-Sulmona-L’Aquila, Italy; 3: Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy

in selected groups of psychiatric patients with schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum.

Materials and Methods. We recruited a sample composed of 100 (females=44; males=56) consecutive subjects suffering from psychotic disease. Then we administered them a psychometric protocol composed of International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) to assess male and female sexuality, Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) to evaluate psychotic symptoms and social functioning. Correlation and regression analyses were performed to evaluate our data.

Results. As expected, we found a high prevalence of sexual dysfunctions in males (87.5%) and females with psychotic disorder (86.4%), as assessed by sexological psychometric tools. Moreover, we demonstrated in males several correlations between the psychopathology, low global functioning, increase of age and various forms of sexual impairment. In psychotic females, we demonstrated a more specificity of negative symptoms characterizing the dysfunctional sexuality was found. Hence, we found gender specificity of symptoms on sexuality, i.e., negative symptomatology predicts female sexual dysfunction (B=0.44; p=0.04), while positive symptoms predict male sexual dysfunction (B=0.206; p=0.03).

Conclusions. Our results revealed that sexual functioning is affected in male patients in association with the various forms of psychiatric symptomatology, global and social functioning and age, while female psychotic patients are principally characterized by negative symptoms in relationship with a dysfunctional sexuality. Therefore, psychiatric treatments might take seriously into consideration the impact of positive and negative symptoms in a gender-dependent manner.


Work supported by industry: no.

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