Sexual communication, sexual satisfaction, and relationship quality in people with multiple sclerosis

Abbey K. Valvano, Michael J.D. Rollock, William H. Hudson, Marie Christine Rutter Goodworth, Eliot Lopez, Lara Stepleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study sought to explore relationships between sexual satisfaction, sexual communication and relationship satisfaction in people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, sexual satisfaction was evaluated as a moderator between sexual communication and relationship satisfaction. Design: Individuals diagnosed with MS and being treated in a hospital-based MS clinic in the southeastern United States (n = 58) completed measures of sexual satisfaction, sexual communication, sexual dysfunction, relationship quality, depression, level of disability, and frequency of sex-related communication and behaviors in a cross-sectional survey design. Results: Sexual satisfaction moderated the relationship between quality of sexual communication and relationship quality, controlling for depression and frequency of sexual behavior and sexual communication. Directionality was examined in a 2nd regression analysis, in which the predictor and outcome variables were switched, which was also significant. Additionally, depression most strongly predicted relationship dissatisfaction. Conclusions: Findings help to establish sexual satisfaction as a moderator between sexual communication and relationship satisfaction, although directionality cannot be supported. Results also highlight the role of depression in overall relationship functioning and support the biopsychosocial model of care for treatment of sexual dysfunction in people living with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Sexual communication
  • Sexual satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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