Abstract 3309: Sexual Self-Concept, Anxiety, and Self-Efficacy Predict Sexual Activity in Heart Failure and Healthy Elders
Little is known about sexual activity in patients with heart failure (HF) and evidence suggests sexual activity is adversely affected and QOL may suffer.
Aim: Explore relationships and predictors between sexual activity (SA) and psychosexual, demographic/clinical variables in healthy elders (HE) and heart failure (HF).
Methods: Correlation, ANOVA, and logistic regression were used to determine relationships and predictors of SA in 59 HE and 84 HF patients. Variables were overall depression and anxiety (BSI subscales); sexual anxiety, sexual depression, sexual self-efficacy, sexual satisfaction (Multidimensional Sexual Self-Concept Questionnaire subscales); and demographic/clinical variables. The outcome variable was self-reported SA in the prior 2 months.
Results: A significant zero-order relationship was found between overall depression and sexual depression (p<.001) and overall anxiety and sexual anxiety (p<.001). HF patients scored twice as high as HE on general anxiety and depression (p<.001). SA with a combined sample of HE and HF showed that those not SA had lower sexual self-concept (p<.001), sexual self-efficacy (p<.001), sexual satisfaction (p<.001) and less anxiety (p<.01). Logistic regression revealed that those with increased sexual self concept had 1.78 greater odds of being SA. Sexual anxiety and sexual self-efficacy showed a statistically significant (p<.01) independent effect on SA, with greater odds of being SA, 2.48 and 1.87 respectively. High sexual self concept, younger age and being married explained 33% of the variance in SA in model 1, and sexual anxiety, sexual self-efficacy, younger age, and being married explained 38% of the variance in SA in model 2, controlling for other factors.
Conclusions: Heart failure did not adversely affect sexual function when compared to healthy elders, contrary to previous reports. Sexual self-concept, sexual anxiety, and sexual self-efficacy, younger age, and marital status predicted SA in those with heart failure and healthy elders. Relationships between overall anxiety and depression and sexual anxiety and depression were found, although further research is needed to validate these findings. Attention to psychosexual concerns is needed both in clinical practice and research.