Perceived influence of health status on sexual activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2020 Nov;49(6):468-475. doi: 10.1080/03009742.2020.1774647. Epub 2020 Jul 16.


Objective: To examine the prevalence of self-reported problems with sexual activity among psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients, and to explore potential associations of such problems with various demographic, musculoskeletal, and dermatological disease variables. Method: Consecutive PsA patients were recruited from an outpatient clinic. Data collected included demographics, measures of musculoskeletal and skin disease activity, and treatments. Perceived effect of health status on sexual activity was assessed using question number 15 from the health-related quality of life instrument 15D; this was explored in univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results: The study assessed 135 patients (mean age 52.1 years, disease duration 8.7 years, 51.1% male). Mean scores included Maastricht Ankylosing Spondylitis Enthesitis Score (MASES) 2.9, Disease Activity index for PSoriatic Arthritis (DAPSA) 18.2, patient global assessment (PGA) 36.0 mm, pain 33.7 mm, fatigue 45.1 mm, modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (mHAQ) 0.42, Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) 2.5, and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) 3.4. Twenty-four patients (17.8%) reported that their health status had a large negative effect and 111 (82.2%) that it had no or little effect on their sexual activity. In univariate analyses, a statistically significant association with impaired sexual activity was found for longer disease duration and higher MASES, DAPSA, PGA, fatigue, and mHAQ scores, but not for demographic variables or variables reflecting skin psoriasis involvement (PASI, DLQI). In adjusted analyses, only PsA disease duration remained independently associated with impaired sexual activity. Conclusion: One in five PsA patients perceived that their health status had a negative impact on sexual activity. Disease duration and measures reflecting musculoskeletal involvement, but not measures reflecting skin psoriasis involvement, appeared to be associated with impaired sexual activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / complications
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / psychology*
  • Fatigue / complications
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology