Detection rates of sexual dysfunction amongst patients with multiple sclerosis in an outpatient setting--can this be improved?

Ir Med J. Nov-Dec 2006;99(10):304-6.


Sexual dysfunction is an important, yet under-reported symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Aims: To assess detection rates of sexual dysfunction in a MS clinic, and whether a patient-completed questionnaire could improve detection. A retrospective chart review of ninety-eight patients with MS was performed, to compare the frequency of documented discussions regarding sexual function before and after using a questionnaire of symptoms. 6 of 98 patients (6.1%) had documented reference to sexual function in chart review. Of the 90 patients who completed the questionnaire, 30 (33%) had sexual dysfunction--a significant difference in detection rates. There is an association between sexual dysfunction and the prevalence of urinary dysfunction. Fewer patients were asked about sexual dysfunction than urinary or bowel dysfunction. There is a relatively low detection rate of sexual disorders in patients with MS attending outpatient clinics, which may be improved by a patient-completed questionnaire.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / standards
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires