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The onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects couples’ relationship. We investigated the perception of change and sexual satisfaction in spouse-caregivers and their partners diagnosed with AD.
We compared 74 dyads of people with Alzheimer's disease (PwAD)/spouse-caregivers and 21 elderly dyads control. We assessed sexual satisfaction with Questionnaire on Sexual Experience and Satisfaction (QSES), cognition using a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), disease severity using a Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR), awareness of disease with Assessment Scale of Psychosocial Impact of the Diagnosis of Dementia (ASPIDD), functionality with Pfeffer Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), depressive symptoms with Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), quality of life using a Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease Scale (QoL-AD), and burden using a Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).
We found differences between the perception and no perception of change in sexual activity of PwAD (p < 0.001), spouse-caregivers (p < 0.01), and controls (p < 0.05). Moderate to severe sexual dissatisfaction was observed in 36.5% of PwAD, 65% of spouse-caregivers, and 31% of controls. PwAD sexual satisfaction was related to cognitive impairment (p < 0.05). Spouse-caregivers sexual satisfaction was related to gender (p < 0.05) and the presence of sexual activity (p < 0.001).
The perception of change with higher sexual dissatisfaction, were significant in PwAD and their spouse-caregivers, in comparison with couples of elderly without dementia.
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