UBC Theses and Dissertations
Comparing associations between sexual function, sexual distress, and psychological symptoms in women with and without sexual function difficulties Kolbuszewska, Marta
Anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety and depressive disorders, are highly comorbid with sexual dysfunction (i.e., persistent distressing problems with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain) in women; however, little research has examined this comorbidity at the symptom level, or how it may differ for women with versus without sexual function problems. The present research used network analysis to compare how dimensions of sexual function (i.e., orgasm, satisfaction, lubrication, arousal, desire, pain), sexual distress, and anxiety and depressive symptoms relate to one another in women with (N = 150) and without (N = 575) sexual function problems. For both women with and without sexual function problems, arousal was particularly central. Additionally, somatic symptoms (e.g., tension, cardiovascular symptoms) were central to the networks of anxiety and sexual function symptoms while sadness and anhedonia were central to the networks of depression and sexual function symptoms. We found no differences in the density of symptom networks for women with versus without sexual function problems. In sum, the current study uses network analysis to provide a novel examination of associations between sexual function, sexual distress, and psychological symptoms, as well as how these associations differ in women with and without clinically significant problems with sexual function.
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