Objective: To determine whether physical disability, pain, depressive mood, and criticism by the spouse are differentially related to intrusiveness of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on sexuality in male and female patients.
Methods: Physical and psychological aspects of health were assessed in 102 male and 118 female RA patients who were living with a spouse. Patients were classified into 3 levels of intrusiveness of RA on sexuality. The data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance and multiple regression analysis.
Results: Greater intrusiveness of RA on sexuality was related to greater physical disability, pain, and depression in male and female RA patients. Female patients, compared with male patients, appeared to have lower levels of mobility and self-care. Male and female patients did not differ in their level of intrusiveness of RA on sexuality.
Conclusion: Physical disability, pain, and, to a lesser extent, depression were found to contribute to intrusiveness of RA on sexuality. It is suggested that differences in sexual motivation between men and women might have been influential in the absence of gender differences in intrusiveness.