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Rate of Sexual Dysfunction in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary

Bhavith Ravi, MS4; Prabash Kakarla, MD;
Camelia Arsene, MD, PhD, MHS
Research Protocol
Version 1. June 25, 2015
1. Background
An estimated sixteen million patients in the United States have a diagnosis of symptomatic
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (1). As with other chronic illnesses,
symptomatic control is the foundation in maintaining quality of life in these patients. Satisfaction
with intimacy and sexual activity is an integral part of the quality of life in patients with COPD.
Now that COPD is being diagnosed at earlier stages of disease in younger individuals of both
sexes, the assessment of sexual dysfunction is arguably becoming more important in the overall
assessment (1, 2). Often, physicians are ill equipped to deal with such patient concerns and thus
they are overlooked (3, 4).
2. Objective
The overall level of intimacy and sexual activity in patients with COPD is determined by varying
factors that must be assessed by primary care physicians and pulmonologists (3, 5). Our
objective is to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in men and women of primarily
African American descent and compare it to the reported statistics. We will also assess co-morbid
conditions and severity of COPD to further address any possible interventions to improve quality
of life in this regard.
3. Materials and Methods
The study will be conducted on a cohort of patients with the diagnosis of COPD that routinely
follow up at Sinai-Grace Hospital. We have developed a survey addressing the patients
intimacy, sexual concerns, degree of COPD, compliance with medications, and co-morbid
factors that may be contributing to the overall quality of life. The survey will be conducted for 3
months from July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015 and based on the clinic census, we are hoping
to have a sample size of 200 patients.
Data will be analyzed using SPSS version 19 and will be presented using descriptive statistics.
4. Discussion
With the increase in diagnosis of COPD in younger and more sexually active populations, it is
important to address these concerns with less stigma. After this assessment of our population and
investigation into their concerns, we may be better able to facilitate improvement in intimacy and

quality of life for these patients. It is important for physicians to offer empathy in this regard and
offer pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to improve satisfaction with sexual
relationships and thus quality of life (5, 6, 7).
1. Goodell, T. Sexuality in Chronic Lung Disease. Nursing Clinics of North America 42
(2007): 631-38.
2. Furlow, B. Sexual Dysfunction in Patients with Lung Disease. The Lancet (2014): 439.
3. Ibanez, M. Sexuality in Chronic Respiratory Failure: Coincidences and Divergences
between Patient and Primary Care Giver. Respiratory Medicine 95 (2008): 975-79.
4. Vincent, E. Addressing the Sexual Health of Patients with COPD: The Needs of the Patient
and Implications for Health Care Professionals. Chronic Respiratory Disease 4 (2007): 11115.
5. Timms, R.M. Sexual Dysfunction
Disease. CHEST 81.4 (1982): 398-99.





6. Kahraman, H. Erectile Dysfunction and Sex Hormone Changes in Chronic Obstructive

Pulmonary Disease Patients. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 8.66 (2013): 1-6.
7. Karadag, F. Correlates of Erectile Dysfunction in Moderate-to-severe Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease Patients. Respirology 12 (2007): 248-53.