Genital Psoriasis and Associated Factors of Sexual Avoidance – A People-centered Cross-sectional Study in Germany
Maximilian Christian Schielein, Linda Tizek, Barbara Schuster, Stefanie Ziehfreund, Tilo Biedermann, Alexander Zink
Patients with genital psoriasis show poorer outcomes regarding quality of life and sexual distress than those without. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of genital psoriasis and to determine factors associated with the avoidance of sexual activities due to psoriasis in a non-clinical setting. A cross-sectional, person-centered, and online-based nationwide survey was conducted in Germany between March and June 2019. A multiple logistic regression model was used to analyze the data. Furthermore, free-text answers were provided. Overall, 344 individuals with psoriasis participated. Of these, 198 (57.6%) reported having genital psoriasis and 261 (75.9%) currently received medical care. Duration of psoriasis, subjective overall severity, and pain during sex were associated with the avoidance of sexual activities. Most prevalent reasons to avoid sexual activities were ‘shame,’ ‘pain,’ and ‘fear of rejection.’ Sexual distress was high in this sample and a person-centered care approach needs to be further promoted.
Patients with genital psoriasis have a poorer quality of life and more sexual distress. Therefore, we conducted an online-based nationwide survey across Germany addressing persons living with psoriasis. Overall, we had 344 participants. Of these, 198 (57.6%) stated to have genital psoriasis and 83 (24.1%) did not see a doctor at the moment. Most prevalent reasons to avoid sexual activities were ‘shame,’ ‘pain,’ and ‘fear of rejection.’ Avoidance of sexual contact is high in individuals reached via this online-survey and needs to be further addressed. Furthermore, the approach of reaching out affected individuals, not only patients, could represent a great asset for future health care.