- •French MSISQ-19 could be a valid and reliable tool to assess SD in PwMS.
- •Disability level, measured by the EDSS, correlated significantly with MSISQ-19.
- •A significant negative relationship was found between QoL and MSISQ-19.
- •The self-reported questionnaire might help an initial approach of a sensitive topic.
- •This tool may be considered as an outcome measure of sexual functioning in research.
Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from various symptoms, including sexual dysfunction. The Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19 (MSISQ-19) is a scale that explores the impact of MS on sexual activity and satisfaction.
This observational cohort study aimed to provide a validated, cross-cultural, French version of the MSISQ-19 in patients with MS.
The original version of MSISQ-19 was translated into French according to standardized guidelines. Patients were asked to complete all questionnaires during the inclusion visit and the MSISQ-19 a second time two weeks later. Content validity was assessed by face validity. Internal consistency was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha. Construct validity was checked by the exploratory factor analysis. Concurrent validity was assessed by performing Spearman's correlation coefficient with the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Male Sexual Health Questionnaire (MSHQ), and the Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life questionnaire (MusiQoL). Spearman's correlation coefficient was also used to evaluate the relationship with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), age, and disease duration. Test-retest reliability was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Responsiveness was assessed by the standard error of measurement (SEM) and the minimum detectable change (MDC).
Main outcome measures
MSISQ-19 is the main outcome measure.
We enrolled 71 patients with MS (49 female, 22 male). The mean age was 42.6 ± 9.7 years with a median disease duration of 8 [3–16] years. Sixty-four (90%) patients had relapsing-remitting MS, 4 (6%) primary progressive MS, and 3 (4%) secondary progressive MS. French MSISQ-19 showed a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.89. MSISQ-19 scores correlated significantly and moderately between each other and correlated significantly and moderately with scores on the FSFI, MSHQ, MusiQoL and EDSS. Reproducibility was excellent with intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.80. Exploratory factor analysis was performed using principal component analysis. A three-factor solution was adopted giving eigenvalues higher than 1, supporting the primary, secondary, and tertiary dimensions. SEM was 4.55 and MDC was 12.6 (13.3%).
This study provides a preliminary validation of the French version of the MSISQ-19 which could be a reliable, and reproducible instrument to assess sexual dysfunction in patients with MS. These results need to be confirmed in a larger cohort which will be more representative of the general MS population.
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Published online: June 18, 2022
Accepted: June 17, 2022
Received in revised form: May 30, 2022
Received: March 28, 2022
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