Objectives: The primary objective was to examine specific aspects of sexual functioning (frequency, desired frequency, importance, and satisfaction) and their relationship to fatigue in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared with those without brain injury. The relationship of demographic variables, emotional well-being, and health-related quality of life to sexual functioning was also explored.
Participants: 200 community-dwelling adults with self-reported mild-to-severe TBI and 83 individuals without brain injury.
Measures: Participation Objective, Participation Subjective, Fatigue Assessment Instrument, Global Fatigue Index, Beck Depression Inventory, and SF-36 Health Survey.
Methods: Data were collected through administration of self-report measures and interviews as part of a larger study of post–TBI fatigue.
Results: Several aspects of sexual activity (frequency, desired frequency, and importance) were closely related to specific features of fatigue among individuals with TBI. Women with TBI reported lower frequency and lower importance of sex than men. In individuals without brain injury, the impact of fatigue was limited to the frequency of sexual activity with no sex differences observed.
Conclusions: Fatigue plays a different role in the subjective experience of sexual activity for men and women with TBI than for those without brain injuries. Fatigue and sex should be taken into account in future research and interventions focused on sexual function after TBI.