Pain, Sexual Activity and Partner Support in Jamaicans with Sickle Cell Disease

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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Sickle Cell Disease: Genetics, Management and Prognosis


Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and other chronic diseases can certainly have a significant impact on sexual functioning as well as relationship dynamics, especially with the importance of support systems within the framework of a chronic illness. The sample consisted of 140 Jamaican adults between the ages of 19 and 79 years (mean age= 35.97 ± 12.11 years). Diagnosis of SCD was based on results of hemoglobin electrophoresis. Correlations were conducted with types of SCD pain, intensity of pain, sexual activity and social support from spouse with special attention paid to the emotional, instrumental, informational and comparison aspects of social support from the patient’s spouse/significant other. Various questions regarding sexual functioning were utilized to explore this area. Results indicated that there were a number of significant correlations between sexual activity and support, pain and support, pain and quality of intimate relationship, spouse’s reaction to pain and patient’s pain (p < .05). Conclusions support the importance of social support and its far-reaching impact into the coping mechanisms of patients with chronic illness as well as quality of life.


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