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The impact of Behçet's disease on intimate relationships in women: A qualitative study.

Sweeting, F. and Arden-Close, E., 2020. The impact of Behçet's disease on intimate relationships in women: A qualitative study. Chronic illness. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1177/1742395320945210

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Behçet's disease is a rare and incurable condition where the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue. Behçet's can cause blood clots and ulcerations to form in every organ and system in the body, including deep and painful genital ulceration. The psychological impact of the disease on intimacy and relationships is unexplored. This study aimed to explore how the disease impacts on female patients' intimate partner relationships. METHODS: Participants were seven female, UK patients with Behçet's disease who were in committed relationships. In depth, semi-structured interviews lasting approximately 80 minutes were conducted via video conferencing about participants' sexual functioning and intimate relationships. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. RESULTS: Patients' sexual relationships and intimacy were impacted by issues due to lack of knowledge of symptoms (misdiagnosis of herpes), issues due to symptoms (genital manifestations, painful sex, exhaustion), difficulties communicating with medical professionals, medication, partner support, and support from fellow Behçet's patients. DISCUSSION: Female Behçet's patients are at risk of developing psychological problems with intimacy due to symptoms, lack of knowledge of symptoms, and negative impacts of medication. Intimacy needs to be discussed in medical consultations so these issues can be addressed before a lack of intimacy negatively impacts relationships.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1742-3953
Uncontrolled Keywords:Behçet’s disease ; IPA ; chronic illness ; disability ; female sexual health ; intimacy ; sexual function
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34410
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:11 Aug 2020 09:47
Last Modified:11 Aug 2020 09:47

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