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Prevalence of sexual problems and associated distress in aging men across 4 European countries

Prevalence of sexual problems and associated distress in aging men across 4 European countries
Prevalence of sexual problems and associated distress in aging men across 4 European countries

Background: Among older men, comparable cross-cultural investigations of sexual problems and associated distress that also include a multitude of relevant explanatory variables of these sexual problem and related distress are rare in the research literature. 

Aims: To investigate prevalence rates of sexual problems and associated distress among older men across 4 European countries (Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal) and assess for associated mental and physical health–related factors. 

Methods: Multinational cross-sectional questionnaire study using self-report measures. 

Outcomes: Prevalence rates of sexual problems and associated distress levels. 

Results: We found a high prevalence of sexual problems persisting for months or longer across countries, but noted that many affected men experienced minimal or no distress related to these problems. We also found marked cross-cultural differences in reported distress about sexual problems, with southern European men (i.e., Portugal) reporting significantly more distress related to the majority of sexual problems investigated compared with northern European men (i.e., Denmark and Norway). Finally, we identified several relational, physical, and mental health problems associated with the reported number of sexual problems and the distress related to these problems. 

Clinical Implications: We suggest that healthcare professionals also target distress when considering sexual problems among older men and contextualize these considerations within a multifactorial approach to general health in which (other) mental and physical health factors relevant to these patients’ sexual health and function are also jointly considered. 

Strengths & Limitations: Strengths of this study include the large sample size, inclusion of participants from 4 European countries, assessment of distress associated with sexual problems, and similar research design and method of data collection across the 4 included countries. Limitations of the study include the cross-sectional design, which precludes causal conclusions; the low response rate in the Portuguese sample; the lack of homosexual participants; and the lack of comprehensive assessments of dyadic factors that may be of relevance to sexual problems and associated distress. 

Conclusion: This study identified a high prevalence of sexual problems persisting for 3 months or longer among older men across 4 European countries, but also found that many of the men with sexual problems experienced minimal or no distress related to these problems. 

Cross-Cultural, Older Men, Sexual Distress, Sexual Functions, Sexual Problems
1743-6095
Hald, M.
6cd4ce5f-091a-4286-9818-5dce124fe1bf
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Stulhofer, Aleksandar
04f0a942-5293-4e52-aca1-50cdbbbba497
Carvalheira, Ana
5c147286-c3e0-424d-b1a1-c33463380e23
Janssen, Erick
65bc29b2-0975-4841-842d-22049eb356e6
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c
Hald, M.
6cd4ce5f-091a-4286-9818-5dce124fe1bf
Graham, Cynthia
ac400331-f231-4449-a69b-ec9a477224c8
Stulhofer, Aleksandar
04f0a942-5293-4e52-aca1-50cdbbbba497
Carvalheira, Ana
5c147286-c3e0-424d-b1a1-c33463380e23
Janssen, Erick
65bc29b2-0975-4841-842d-22049eb356e6
Træen, Bente
b1e0cf58-f435-4c39-8c5d-6a9e7a40a89c

Hald, M., Graham, Cynthia, Stulhofer, Aleksandar, Carvalheira, Ana, Janssen, Erick and Træen, Bente (2019) Prevalence of sexual problems and associated distress in aging men across 4 European countries. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. (doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.017).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Among older men, comparable cross-cultural investigations of sexual problems and associated distress that also include a multitude of relevant explanatory variables of these sexual problem and related distress are rare in the research literature. 

Aims: To investigate prevalence rates of sexual problems and associated distress among older men across 4 European countries (Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal) and assess for associated mental and physical health–related factors. 

Methods: Multinational cross-sectional questionnaire study using self-report measures. 

Outcomes: Prevalence rates of sexual problems and associated distress levels. 

Results: We found a high prevalence of sexual problems persisting for months or longer across countries, but noted that many affected men experienced minimal or no distress related to these problems. We also found marked cross-cultural differences in reported distress about sexual problems, with southern European men (i.e., Portugal) reporting significantly more distress related to the majority of sexual problems investigated compared with northern European men (i.e., Denmark and Norway). Finally, we identified several relational, physical, and mental health problems associated with the reported number of sexual problems and the distress related to these problems. 

Clinical Implications: We suggest that healthcare professionals also target distress when considering sexual problems among older men and contextualize these considerations within a multifactorial approach to general health in which (other) mental and physical health factors relevant to these patients’ sexual health and function are also jointly considered. 

Strengths & Limitations: Strengths of this study include the large sample size, inclusion of participants from 4 European countries, assessment of distress associated with sexual problems, and similar research design and method of data collection across the 4 included countries. Limitations of the study include the cross-sectional design, which precludes causal conclusions; the low response rate in the Portuguese sample; the lack of homosexual participants; and the lack of comprehensive assessments of dyadic factors that may be of relevance to sexual problems and associated distress. 

Conclusion: This study identified a high prevalence of sexual problems persisting for 3 months or longer among older men across 4 European countries, but also found that many of the men with sexual problems experienced minimal or no distress related to these problems. 

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Prevalence of Sexual problems and associated distress in aging men CLEAN COPY FINAL R1 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 27 June 2020.
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Text
Prevalence of Sexual problems and associated distress in aging men CLEAN COPY FINAL R1 copy
Restricted to Repository staff only
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 June 2019
Keywords: Cross-Cultural, Older Men, Sexual Distress, Sexual Functions, Sexual Problems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430248
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430248
ISSN: 1743-6095
PURE UUID: aacea790-dcba-4aaa-9208-5858d8d771ce
ORCID for Cynthia Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 16:36

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