Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Aims: This study aimed to evaluate sexual functioning among hemodialysis patients and their spouses. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted by the Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Division at the Hemodialysis Unit of the Department of Nephrology, Ankara University, School of Medicine as well as 3 private dialysis centers in Ankara. The study group consisted of 45 hemodialysis patients and their spouses. All couples filled out a socio-demographic and occupational data form and a validated Turkish version of the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale. The couples were also evaluated by a psychiatrist using the Hamilton Depression Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and Mini Mental State Examination. Results: Forty-five patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment and their spouses participated in the study. The mean age of the patients was 47.15 ± 10.25 years and the mean age of the spouses was 45.20 ± 10.34 years. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders-Clinical Version revealed that among 45 couples, 30 patients and 13 spouses fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis (P = 0.001), commonly for depression. Comparisons of the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale items (drive, arousal, penile erection/vaginal lubrication, ability to reach orgasm, and satisfaction with orgasm) revealed higher scores for arousal, erection/lubrication, satisfaction subscales, and the total Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (P < 0.05) in the patient group than in the spouse group, and sexual problems were significantly more common in female spouses (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Sexual function disorders were mostly seen in male hemodialysis patients, but in the spouse group, the incidence of sexual disorders was higher in female spouses. We suggest that sexual assessment of these patients should be integrated into routine examination, and cooperation of nephrology and psychiatric team is essential for the therapy of hemodialysis patients and their spouses.


Hemodialysis, spouses, sexuality

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