Quality of Life and Use of Health Care among People with Genital Herpes in France
In order to assess psychological morbidity in France related to genital herpes infection, we carried out a transversal study comparing infected patients with a control group. A total of 236 patients with genital herpes were ®rst identi®ed by means of a postal survey, then matched against a witness group of 236 noninfected persons. Detailed questionnaires were sent out to each person in the 2 groups. A total of 150 herpes patients and 200 non-infected persons answered the questionnaire, which
... tionnaire, which enabled us to measure the incidence of the disease by means of 2 indicators: a herpes-speci®c scale and the SF-36 quality of life questionnaire. Emotional trauma due to genital herpes was reported amongst 23% of the participants. Of the participants, 57% indicated that herpes interfered with their sexual relationships; 50% felt it dif®cult to live with genital herpes; and 37% felt that herpes ruins their lives. An analysis assessing healthrelated quality of life indicated signi®cant differences between the scores of the 2 groups and showed that quality of life is lower amongst herpes patients. Respondents with genital herpes required more frequent consultations with GPs (81% vs. 73%), and signi®cantly more frequent consultations with specialists (59% vs. 45%). Our study con®rms that substantial psychological morbidity exists in patients with genital herpes.