Sexual function assessment in postmenopausal women with the 14-item changes in sexual functioning questionnaire

Plácido Llaneza, José M Fernández-Iñarrea, Begoña Arnott, María P García-Portilla, Peter Chedraui, Faustino R Pérez-López
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2011, 8 (8): 2144-51

INTRODUCTION: Sexual function assessment is relevant to improve female health care.

AIM: Assess sexual function in postmenopausal women and determine predictors related to sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health-related female/partner data and tool measures.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study in which 117 sexually active postmenopausal women filled out the 14-item Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ-14), the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression Scale (CESD-10), the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), and a general questionnaire containing female/partner data. Correlations between tool measurements and female/partner data were analyzed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary end point was sexual function predictors.

RESULTS: Median age was 57 years, 8.5% had low income, 3.4% had surgical menopause, 17.1% had hypertension, and 66.7% increased body mass index. In addition, 21.4% were current hormone therapy users and 28.2% engaged in regular exercise. According to the MRS, muscle/joint problems (86.3%) and physical/mental exhaustion (81.2%) were the top encountered menopausal symptoms. Also, 48.7% displayed depressed mood (CESD-10 total scores ≥ 10) and 64.1% displayed total CSFQ-14 scores ≤41, suggesting sexual dysfunction. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) was high for all tools: total CSFQ-14 scale (0.87), total MRS (0.80), and the CESD-10 (0.85). CSFQ-14 total scores inversely correlated with MRS scores (total, psychological, and urogenital, P < 0.05). Arousal scale scores inversely correlated with MRS total and urogenital scores whereas orgasm scores only with the total MRS. CESD-10 scores inversely correlated with all CSFQ-14 scores and positively with all MRS scores. Multiple linear regression was used to obtain a reduced best-fit model predicting total CSFQ-14 scores (sexual function). Total CSFQ-14 scores were positively correlated to female education, and education and regular exercising in the partner and inversely correlated to CESD-10 total scores.

CONCLUSION: Assessed with the CSFQ-14 tool, sexual function of this postmenopausal sample correlated to female/partner educational, lifestyle, and health factors. More research is warranted in this regard.

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