Rabia ÖNEM1, Selime ÇELİK1, Jülide ÖNCÜ2, Onur TANKAYA1, Uğur KOLAT1, Birim SUNGU DANIŞMANT1, Can Sait SEVİNDİK1, Ömer Akil ÖZER1

1Department of Psychiatry, Şişli Etfal Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Şişli Etfal Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Marital adjustment, rheumatoid arthritis, sexuality


Objectives: Physical distress in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may affect marital adjustment and sexual functioning. This study aims to investigate marital adjustment and sexuality in female patients with RA.
Patients and methods: The patient group consisted of 47 female patients with a diagnosis of RA between the ages of 18-55 (mean age 37.36±7.21 years), married and who have not entered menopause yet. Forty-five healthy women were included as a control group. Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS), Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Beck Depression Scale, Beck Anxiety Scale, and Disease Activity Scores in 28 joints were evaluated.
Results: The mean disease duration was 4.77±4.61 years. There was no significant difference between the groups with regard to total and sub scale scores of Dyadic Adjustment Scale and GRISS total scores (p>0.05). A significant difference was found between the groups with regard to ASEX total score (p<0.05), ASEX-objective sexual arousal (p<0.05), ASEX-subjective sexual arousal categories (p<0.01), and GRISS-anorgasmia subscale (p<0.01). A positive correlation was found only between the number of tender joints and anorgasmia subscale of GRISS (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Rheumatoid arthritis does not affect marital adjustment of patients; however, may affect sexual functioning to some extent leading to a need for psychiatric care.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.