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Sexuality and Well-Being Among Couples Living with Acquired Deafblindness

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Sexuality among couples living with acquired deafblindness (ADB) is an untouched research area, although recent research has reported an association between couples’ sexual activity and vision and hearing loss, respectively. The aim of the current study was to investigate sexuality among couples living with ADB in Denmark and its association with psychological well-being. Deafblind individuals and their partners (n = 45) were recruited from the national institute providing services for the deafblind in Denmark. Partners were asked about sexual activity, reductions in sexual desire and sexual satisfaction over the past year. Both individuals and their partners completed the WHO-5 measure of psychological well-being. Further, information about degree of hearing and vision loss and use of hearing aids was also obtained. Compared to other population based studies, level of sexual activity was low and more participants reported poor psychological well-being. Sexual activity significantly predicted psychological well-being among partners but not individuals with deafblindness. Gender differences were found indicating that sexual activity was important for male partner’s well-being but satisfaction with sex life was important for female partner’s well-being. Degree of hearing loss and use of hearing aids were also associated with sexual activity and desire among couples where the deafblind individual-partner gender distribution was male–female.

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This study was supported by the VELUX Foundation under Grant VELUX33847.

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Correspondence to Christine M. Lehane.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The ethical approval number for the current study is 2015/02.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Lehane, C.M., Dammeyer, J., Hovaldt, H.B. et al. Sexuality and Well-Being Among Couples Living with Acquired Deafblindness. Sex Disabil 35, 135–146 (2017).

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