The Perception Of Sexuality In Older Adults And Its Relationship With Cognitive Functioning | 21969
Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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Objectives: Investigating whether cognitive functioning is associated with the perception of one?s sexuality in old age.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis, using observation cycle 2005/2006 of the population-based prospective cohort of the
Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.
Setting: Municipal registries in three Dutch regions.
Participants: 1, 908 older adults (mean [standard deviation] age: 71 [8.87] years; 54% women).
Measurements: Sexuality and intimacy were assessed using four questions. Four cognitive domains were assessed: General
cognitive functioning (Mini-Mental State Examination), memory performance (Auditory Verbal Learning Test), processing
speed (Coding Task) and fluid intelligence (Raven?s Coloured Progressive Matrices). Multinomial regression analysis was used,
with sexuality as outcome. The interaction effect between gender and sexuality was also tested.
Results: Lower fluid intelligence was associated with perceiving sexuality as unimportant; lower general cognitive functioning
was associated with perceiving sexuality as unimportant; and lower immediate memory recall was associated with evaluating
sexual life as unpleasant. Associations were also found between lower fluid intelligence, processing speed, and general cognitive
functioning, and agreeing with sexuality no longer being important. Lower processing speed, general cognitive functioning,
and delayed memory recall were associated with disagreeing with a remaining need for intimacy when getting older. Finally,
the association between fluid intelligence and perceiving sexuality as important, and the association between immediate
memory recall score and evaluating sexual life as pleasant, was only significant in women. The association between lower
general cognitive functioning and perceiving sexuality as unimportant seemed stronger in women compared with men.
Conclusions: Higher cognitive functioning was associated with the way in which older people perceive their current sexuality.
Carien Hartmans has completed her MSc at the age of 29 years from Utrecht University. Postdoctoral studies were completed from RINO, Utrecht in 2013. She
just started publishing and has thus far published 2 papers in reputed journals. She is working with elderly patients as a specialist in clinical neuropsychology for
Altrecht, a Dutch institute for clinical and outpatient mental health care.
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