Gout and sexual function: patient perspective of how gout affects personal relationships and intimacy.

Academic Article


  • Background: In absence of previous studies, we assessed how gout impacts relationship and intimacy with spouse/significant other. Methods: We enrolled a convenience sample of consecutive patients with doctor-diagnosed gout from a community-based outpatient clinic. Nominal groups were conducted until saturation was achieved. Responses were collected verbatim, discussed and then rank-ordered by each participant with votes. Results: Forty-four patients with gout participated in 14 nominal groups, seven male only groups, six female only groups and one group had people with both sexes. Overall, the mean age was 61.7 years (SD, 12.2), mean gout duration was 11.8 years (SD, 11.8), 50% were men, 68% African-American, 43% retired, 48% currently married, 94% were using either allopurinol and/or febuxostat, and 39% had had no gout flares in the last 6 months. The top five responses accounted for 75% of all votes and included physical (28%) or emotional impact (17.4%) on intimacy, disability (12.9%), issues with trust/understanding (10.6%) and social life interference (6.8%). When examining the top-rated concern for each nominal group, physical impact on intimacy was ranked top by eight nominal groups; and emotional impact on intimacy, physical function limitation, trust issues/understanding by two nominal groups each. There were no differences evident by patient gender in the concern that was top-ranked. Conclusions: Gout significantly impacts relationship and intimacy with spouse/significant other. Our observation of the physical and emotional impact of gout on intimacy should lead to studies to understand this further and assess if more optimal gout control can improve sex lives of people with gout.
  • Keywords

  • Gout, Intimacy, Nominal groups, Patient perspective, Personal relationships, Qualitative, Sexual function
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19161280
  • Author List

  • Singh JA
  • Start Page

  • 8
  • Volume

  • 3