, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 315-325

Sexual function and quality of life in genitourinary medicine (GUM) outpatients and preliminary validation of a self-report questionnaire measure

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Abstract

A cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 216 men and 191 women attending a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic was undertaken to explore the relationship between sexual symptoms and quality of sexual life, and to test the psychometric validity of a pilot self-report measure of Sexual Function and Quality of Sexual Life (SFQoSL). Statistical comparisons were made with three reference groups: volunteers attending GUM for psychosexual counselling, outpatients at an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, and staff. Exploratory principal components analysis (with varimax rotation) of questionnaire item responses suggested an 11 (in women) and 13 (in men) factor solution, incorporating four multi-item scales. Internal consistency (Cronbach's α) of core items was 0.84 in 186 women (19 items) and 0.87 in 210 men (22 items). Construct validity was supported in comparisons with reference groups using one-way analysis of variance and post-hoc Scheffé testing. Overall, 116 (54%) male and 132 (69%) female GUM outpatients had scores indicating sexual dysfunction. Thirty-seven (17%) men reported erectile dysfunction; 54 (28%) women reported vaginal dryness affecting sex; 48 (25%) women reported genital changes affecting sex; 45 (21%) men and 64 (34%) women reported problems reaching orgasm.