Sexual dysfunction prevalent in adults with psychiatric disorders

27 Jul 2023
Sexual dysfunction prevalent in adults with psychiatric disorders
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is characterized by a persistent or recurrent deficiency of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity, resulting in marked distress and interpersonal difficulties.

Patients with a psychiatric disorder tend to suffer from sexual dysfunction as well, with variations in the frequency and phase of reported sexual dysfunction, as shown in a systematic review.

Two authors independently performed a systematic review using PRISMA*, with a third author monitoring the review process. Studies assessing the relationship between sexual dysfunctions and psychopathology were identified from inception until 16 June 2022 using the databases of PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycINFO.

Twenty-four studies, including a total of 1,199 patients, met the eligibility criteria. These studies focused on the following psychiatric disorders: depression (n=9), anxiety (n=7), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n=5), schizophrenia (n=4), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; n=2). Studies on bipolar disorder were not found.

The prevalence rates of sexual dysfunction were 45 percent to 93 percent for depressive disorders, 33 percent to 75 percent for anxiety disorders, 25 percent to 81 percent for OCD, and 25 percent for schizophrenia.

Sexual desire was the most affected phase of the sexual response cycle in both men and women with depressive disorders, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Additionally, patients with OCD and anxiety most frequently reported dysfunction in the orgasm phase (24 percent to 44 percent and 7 percent to 48 percent, respectively).

“The high prevalence of sexual dysfunction requires more clinical attention by means of psychoeducation, clinical guidance, sexual anamnesis, and additional sexological treatment,” the authors said.

*Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

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