SEXUAL ACTIVITIES, CONCERNS AND INTERESTS OF WOMEN WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY

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Abstract

White MJ, Rintala DH, Hart KA, Fuhrer MJ: Sexual activities, concerns and interests of women with spinal cord injury living in the community. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1993;72:372–378A representative sample of 40 women selected from a community-based sampling frame of 661 men and women with spinal cord injury was studied for sexual activities, concerns and interests. Participants responded to a questionnaire and rating scales and were physically examined to establish their neurologic status. With respect to 11 other areas of life, sex life ranked tenth in importance and tenth in satisfaction. In the sample, 65% reported having had a physical relationship (not necessarily including intercourse) in the past 12 months. Areas of greatest concern were problems associated with urinary and bowel accidents and not satisfying a partner. Regarding topics of interest related to sexual activity, highest priorities were assigned to coping emotionally with changes in sexual functioning and helping a partner cope emotionally with limitations on sexual activity. Compared with a previously studied group of men with spinal cord injury, the women in the sample exhibited distinctive needs that were not being addressed sufficiently by rehabilitation professionals.

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