Extension and Evaluation of the PROMIS Sexual Function and Satisfaction Measures for Use in Adults Living With Multiple Sclerosis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Sexual dysfunction is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinically meaningful and psychometrically sound measures of sexual function validated in people with MS are necessary to identify people with MS who experience problems with sexual function. AIM: To evaluate the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Sexual Function and Satisfaction (SexFS) v2.0 measure in people with MS and to extend the PROMIS SexFS Brief and Full Profiles to include additional aspects of sexual function relevant to people living with MS. METHODS: A convenience sample of MS clinicians and sexually active individuals with MS ranked relevance of 26 items that listed specific factors that interfere with sexual function. Rankings were used to select items to include in the modified SexFS for Multiple Sclerosis (SexFS-MS) profiles. Sex-FS Brief and Full profiles along with the top 22 ranked interfering factor items underwent cognitive interviews (CI) to assess whether the items were understandable and meaningful. OUTCOMES: The SexFS as originally published functioned well in people with MS after minor modifications. RESULTS: Twelve MS clinicians and 26 people with MS ranked items. The 10 highest ranked questions about factors that interfere with sexual function most relevant to people with MS were added to the SexFS-MS Brief profiles and 18 to the Full profiles. Ten men and 12 women with MS participated in CIs and found most items to be clear and meaningful. However, important changes were made to the profile instructions, some response sets, and to some items to improve clarity and function. New items to assess numbness and reasons why sexually active people choose at times not to engage in sexual activity were added. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Brief and Full profiles are freely available and are recommended for research and clinical practice that include people with MS. STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: This study is the first to provide validity evidence for the PROMIS SexFS in people living with MS. Though the PROMIS SexFS was tested in people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, only individuals who identified as heterosexual participated in this study. Results may not represent views of people with MS who identify as other sexual orientations who may have different concerns and priorities related to sexual function. CONCLUSION: This study extended the PROMIS SexFS Brief and Full profiles to create the SexFS-MS by adding items that measure most relevant issues related to sexual function in individuals living with MS. Amtmann D, Bamer AM, Salem R, et al. Extension and Evaluation of the PROMIS Sexual Function and Satisfaction Measures for Use in Adults Living With Multiple Sclerosis. J Sex Med 2022;19:719-728.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Amtmann, D; Bamer, AM; Salem, R; McMullen, K; Beier, M; Flynn, KE; Foley, FW; Weinfurt, KP; Wilkie, D; Alschuler, KN

Published Date

  • May 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 719 - 728

PubMed ID

  • 35367163

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1743-6109

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.01.523


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands