Polish physicians and researchers lack an extensive and precise instrument in their native language for evaluating sexual dysfunction in individuals with neurogenic disorders. The aim of this study was to create a culturally adapted, validated, Polish language version of the Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire (MSISQ-15) for persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI).
International recommendations and standardized methods for instrument validation were followed. Sexually active patients with MS and SCI completed the MSISQ-15, International Index of Erection Function (IIEF-15, men), and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire (PISQ-31, women). IIEF-15 and PISQ-31 were used as reference questionnaires. Responses were collected at baseline (test) and after 2 weeks (re-test).
We recruited 299 Polish-speaking patients with MS or SCI. Interviews disclosed that the translated questionnaire had optimal content validity/cross-cultural adaptation. MSISQ-15 scores correlated significantly with the severity of sexual dysfunction as evaluated by IIEF-15 (r = - 0.487) and PISQ-31 (r = - 0.709). These correlations substantiated the high quality construct/criterion validity. An analysis of reliability presented good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.93 for the total score of MS patients and 0.86 for the total score of SCI patients) and reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.91 for the total score of MS patients and 0.92 for the total score of SCI patients). There were no ceiling or floor effects.
The Polish version of MSISQ-15 exhibited excellent measurement properties. It is a suitable and reliable instrument to assess sexual dysfunction in MS and SCI individuals. The Polish MSISQ-15 will enhance routine clinical practice and assist research for neurogenic patients in Poland.