Background: Mental disorders are frequently related to sexual dysfunction (SD) but scant data are still available on trauma-related disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Aim: To evaluate the relationships between SD and PTSD in 2009 L'Aquila (Italy) earthquake young adult survivors, with particular attention to gender differences. Methods: Five hundred twelve high-school senior students were assessed 21 months after exposure by the following: Trauma and Loss Spectrum–Self-Report (TALS-SR), for post-traumatic spectrum symptoms; Mood Spectrum–Self-Report (MOODS-SR) lifetime version, for mood spectrum symptoms (including SD-related symptoms). Descriptive and inferential statistics were adopted. Outcomes: TALS-SR and MOODS-SR scores were analyzed to evaluate PTSD- and SD-related symptoms. Results: Around 6.5% of subjects reported SD-related symptoms with males showing higher rates than females in each symptom, with a statistically significant difference in item n = 154 (…less sexually active). Survivors with symptomatological PTSD reported rates up to 10%, with higher ratio of endorsing at least one SD-related symptom than with NO-PTSD. Significantly higher total MOODS-SR SD-related symptom scores emerged in survivors with symptomatological PTSD than in those with NO-PTSD, and a 2-way ANOVA showed a significant main effect of symptomatological PTSD and gender and gender × PTSD interaction. Clinical Implications: SD-related symptoms are reported among young adult survivors to earthquake exposure and the number of symptoms is related to PTSD, particularly in males, suggesting the need for accurate evaluation. Strengths & Limitations: Strengths are the large sample of young adult survivors to a massive natural disaster; the long-time frame from exposure corroborating the role of PTSD; the assessment of symptoms specifically occurring after exposure. Limitations are as follows: the lack of a specific scale for SD; the self-report instruments other than clinical interviews, that may be less accurate; the lack of information on the presence of somatic illness and other mental disorders; the lack of a control group; the young age of the sample because of the lifetime sexual experiences of the subjects, in addition to the lack of a comparison measure of sexual functioning before the earthquake. Conclusions: Our results highlight relevant rates of SD-related symptoms in young adults exposed to the L'Aquila earthquake, particularly males and subjects with PTSD, suggesting SD may represent a specific male gender–related somatic complaint. Our results highlight the need for accurate investigation of SD in such population to improve clinical management and appropriate treatment. Carmassi C, Dell'Oste V, Pedrinelli V, et al. Is Sexual Dysfunction in Young Adult Survivors to the L'Aquila Earthquake Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? A Gender Perspective. J Sex Med 2020;17:1770–1778.

Is Sexual Dysfunction in Young Adult Survivors to the L‘Aquila Earthquake Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? A Gender Perspective

Carmassi C.;Dell'Oste V.;Pedrinelli V.;Bertelloni C.;Dell'Osso L.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Background: Mental disorders are frequently related to sexual dysfunction (SD) but scant data are still available on trauma-related disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Aim: To evaluate the relationships between SD and PTSD in 2009 L'Aquila (Italy) earthquake young adult survivors, with particular attention to gender differences. Methods: Five hundred twelve high-school senior students were assessed 21 months after exposure by the following: Trauma and Loss Spectrum–Self-Report (TALS-SR), for post-traumatic spectrum symptoms; Mood Spectrum–Self-Report (MOODS-SR) lifetime version, for mood spectrum symptoms (including SD-related symptoms). Descriptive and inferential statistics were adopted. Outcomes: TALS-SR and MOODS-SR scores were analyzed to evaluate PTSD- and SD-related symptoms. Results: Around 6.5% of subjects reported SD-related symptoms with males showing higher rates than females in each symptom, with a statistically significant difference in item n = 154 (…less sexually active). Survivors with symptomatological PTSD reported rates up to 10%, with higher ratio of endorsing at least one SD-related symptom than with NO-PTSD. Significantly higher total MOODS-SR SD-related symptom scores emerged in survivors with symptomatological PTSD than in those with NO-PTSD, and a 2-way ANOVA showed a significant main effect of symptomatological PTSD and gender and gender × PTSD interaction. Clinical Implications: SD-related symptoms are reported among young adult survivors to earthquake exposure and the number of symptoms is related to PTSD, particularly in males, suggesting the need for accurate evaluation. Strengths & Limitations: Strengths are the large sample of young adult survivors to a massive natural disaster; the long-time frame from exposure corroborating the role of PTSD; the assessment of symptoms specifically occurring after exposure. Limitations are as follows: the lack of a specific scale for SD; the self-report instruments other than clinical interviews, that may be less accurate; the lack of information on the presence of somatic illness and other mental disorders; the lack of a control group; the young age of the sample because of the lifetime sexual experiences of the subjects, in addition to the lack of a comparison measure of sexual functioning before the earthquake. Conclusions: Our results highlight relevant rates of SD-related symptoms in young adults exposed to the L'Aquila earthquake, particularly males and subjects with PTSD, suggesting SD may represent a specific male gender–related somatic complaint. Our results highlight the need for accurate investigation of SD in such population to improve clinical management and appropriate treatment. Carmassi C, Dell'Oste V, Pedrinelli V, et al. Is Sexual Dysfunction in Young Adult Survivors to the L'Aquila Earthquake Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? A Gender Perspective. J Sex Med 2020;17:1770–1778.
Carmassi, C.; Dell'Oste, V.; Pedrinelli, V.; Barberi, F. M.; Rossi, R.; Bertelloni, C.; Dell'Osso, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1052870
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