Content » Vol 48, Issue 9

Original report

Sports practice, resilience, body and sexual esteem, and higher educational level are associated with better sexual adjustment in men with acquired paraplegia

Isabela dos Passos Porto, Fernando Luiz Cardoso, Cinara Sacomori
Health Sciences, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, 88080-350 Florianopolis, Brazil: E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2171


Objective: To analyse the association of team sports practice and physical and psychological factors with sexual adjustment in men with paraplegia. More specifically, we aimed to compare athletes and non-athletes regarding sexual adjustment, resilience, body and sexual self-esteem, and functional independence.
Design: Cross-sectional study with a paired design.
Participants: The study included 60 men with paraplegia (30 athletes and 30 non-athletes).
Methods: We used a sociodemographic questionnaire (age, education, and time since injury); a physical and sexual esteem questionnaire; a resilience questionnaire; and Functional Independence Measure (FIM). The dependent variable, sexual adjustment, was determined by the sum of 5 questions about sexual frequency, desire, and satisfaction and physical and psychological adjustment. Data were analysed by using the χ2 test, Wilcoxon’s test, Spearman’s correlation test, and hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, with p < 0. 05.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 34. 8 years (standard deviation (SD) 8. 5). Athletes had significantly higher sexual adjustment (p = 0. 001) and higher body and sexual esteem (p < 0. 007) and functional independence (p = 0. 019). Variables associated with better sexual adjustment in the final model were sports practice, higher body and sexual esteem, higher educational level, and higher resilience levels (R2 = 58%). There was an interaction between sports practice and body and sexual esteem (p = 0. 024; R2 = 62%).
Conclusion: Participation in sports influenced the sexual adjustment of the men with paraplegia, even when controlled for psychological (resilience and body and sexual esteem) and physical (functional independence) aspects.

Lay Abstract


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