Sexuality of Disabled Athletes Depending on the Form of Locomotion

Ryszard Plinta 1 , Joanna Sobiecka 2 , Agnieszka Drosdzol-Cop 3 , Agnieszka Nowak-Brzezińska 4  and Violetta Skrzypulec-Plinta 3
  • 1 - School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Department of Adapted Physical Activity and Sport, Chair of Physiotherapy, Katowice, Poland.
  • 2 - Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, University School of Physical Education, Krakow, Poland.
  • 3 - School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Chair of Woman's Health, Katowice, Poland.
  • 4 - Institute of Computer Science, Faculty of Computer Science and Material Science, Silesian University, Sosnowiec, Poland.

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to determine sexuality of disabled athletes depending on the form of locomotion. The study included 170 disabled athletes, aged between 18 and 45. The entire population was divided into 3 research groups depending on the form of locomotion: moving on wheelchairs (n=52), on crutches (n=29) and unaided (n=89). The research tool was a questionnaire voluntarily and anonymously completed by the respondents of the research groups. The questionnaire was composed of a general part concerning the socio-demographic conditions, medical history, health problems, a part dedicated to physical disability as well as the Polish version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) evaluating sexual life. STATISTICA 10.0 for Windows was used in the statistical analysis. Subjects moving on crutches were significantly older than ones moving on wheelchairs and unaided (34.41 ±11.00 vs. 30.49 ±10.44 and 27.99 ±10.51 years, respectively) (p=0.018). Clinically significant erectile dysfunctions were most often diagnosed in athletes moving on wheelchairs (70.27%), followed by athletes moving on crutches and moving unaided (60% and 35.42%, respectively; p=0.048). Clinical sexual dysfunctions were diagnosed on a similar level among all female athletes. It was concluded that the form of locomotion may determine sexuality of disabled men. Males on wheelchair revealed the worst sexual functioning. Female athletes moving on wheelchairs, on crutches and moving unaided were comparable in the aspect of their sexual life.

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