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Derm News: 2007.12(2)

Impairment of Sexual Life in Patients with Psoriasis

Dermatology 2007;214(2):144-150
Francesca Sampognaa, Paolo Gisondib, Stefano Tabollia, Damiano Abenia, and the IDI Multipurpose Psoriasis Research on Vital Experiences investigators


Sexual life can be severely affected in patients with psoriasis. However, this component is not often assessed by clinicians.


To estimate the prevalence of sexual impairment and its degree of association with clinical and personal factors among psoriasis patients.


Sexual life impairment was investigated in all eligible adults hospitalized with psoriasis in a dermatological hospital from February 2000 to February 2002, using answers to specific items from two dermatology-specific questionnaires, and from two psoriasis-specific questionnaires. Clinical severity and psychological problems were also evaluated. The same questionnaires were collected a month after hospital discharge, to estimate changes from baseline.


Of 936 patients,from 35.5% (Psoriasis Disability Index) to 71.3% (Impact of Psoriasis on Quality of Life Questionnaire) reported to have experienced sexual problems because of psoriasis. A more severe disease and the presence of psychological problems were also associated with sexual impairment. At 1-month follow-up, a reduction of >75% in clinical severity was associated with a twofold probability of substantial improvement of sexual life.


Sexual impairment is very frequent in patients with psoriasis. Single questions on sexual life from quality of life questionnaires provide a simple tool that may be useful in clinical practice to assess sensitive issues, and thus to provide better patient-physician communication.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.