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Healthcare experiences of individuals with persistent genital arousal disorder/genito-pelvic dysesthesia

Jackowich, Robyn A. ORCID:, Boyer, Stéphanie C., Bienias, Samantha, Chamberlain, Susan and Pukall, Caroline F. 2021. Healthcare experiences of individuals with persistent genital arousal disorder/genito-pelvic dysesthesia. Sexual Medicine 9 (3) , 100335. 10.1016/j.esxm.2021.100335

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ntroduction Persistent genital arousal disorder/genito-pelvic dysesthesia (PGAD/GPD) is a distressing condition characterized by persistent, unwanted sensations of genital arousal (eg, feelings of being on the verge of orgasm, and of lubrication, swelling, tingling, throbbing) that occur in the absence of sexual desire. Although PGAD/GPD is associated with significant impairments in psychosocial functioning, the healthcare (HC) experiences of affected individuals are not well understood. Aim The aims of this study were to examine the barriers to HC, the costs of HC, and the associations among HC experiences, symptoms, and psychosocial outcomes in those with PGAD/GPD symptoms. Methods One hundred and thirteen individuals with PGAD/GPD symptoms completed an online, cross-sectional self-report questionnaire about their HC history and experiences. Main Outcome Measures Self-reported HC barriers, and financial costs associated with PGAD/GPD HC. Validated measures of HC experiences (eg, comfort communicating with HC practitioners [HCPs]), and psychosocial (eg, depression, anxiety) and PGAD/GPD symptom outcomes. Results The majority of participants (56.6%) reported waiting at least 6 months to seek HC for PGAD/GPD symptoms. Those who sought HC approached many HCPs (46.0% approached 6+ HCPs). Several barriers to HC were identified (eg, lack of HCP knowledge of PGAD/GPD), and high costs were reported. A series of multiple linear regression analyses found an association between HC experiences, psychosocial, and symptom outcomes. Specifically, decreased comfort communicating with one's HCP was associated with greater depressive and anxiety symptoms. Conclusion High costs and numerous barriers to seeking HC for PGAD/GPD symptoms were identified, and discomfort communicating with an HCP about PGAD/GPD was associated with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. These results highlight the need for more awareness of this condition in order to improve care for this population.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2050-1161
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 September 2023
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 11:42

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