Characteristics of psychosexual functioning in adults with cerebral palsy

Sung Rae Cho, Eun Sook Park, Chang Il Park, Sang Il Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the characteristics of psychosexual functioning in adults with cerebral palsy, as compared with able-bodied control subjects, matched by gender and marital status, and to identify the factors affecting psychosexual functioning. Design: Interview and survey using the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory (DSFI). Setting: Inpatient and outpatient units in a rehabilitation hospital and welfare facilities. Subjects: Sixty-two adults with cerebral palsy and 142 age-matched able-bodied controls participated in this study. The participants were grouped into four subgroups according to gender and marital status. Main measures: General characteristics of the subjects, 10 domain scores of the DSFI and Sexual Functioning Index (SFI) as a global score were assessed. The scores for each cerebral palsy group according to gender and marital status were compared with those of their corresponding able-bodied control group. Results: Unmarried men with cerebral palsy demonstrated lower SFI and weakness in sexual information, experience, drive, attitude, psychological symptoms, affect and satisfaction, compared with unmarried able-bodied men (p < 0.05). In contrast to unmarried men, unmarried women did not reveal any significant differences in all but body image domain score (p < 0.05) between the groups. Married adults with cerebral palsy showed higher levels of psychological distress in both men and women and lower sexual satisfaction in women (p < 0.05). Nonambulatory people with cerebral palsy had significantly a lower sexual information, experience and satisfaction, and a lower SFI than ambulatory (p < 0.05). Barthel Index was significantly related to body image (p < 0.05). Psychosexual functioning was not significantly different according to cerebral palsy type. Conclusion: This study revealed the characteristics on psychosexual functioning in adults with cerebral palsy, depending on gender and marital status. The results suggested that nonambulatory unmarried men with cerebral palsy were at high risk in terms of psychosexual dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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