Estimating the prevalence of sexual function problems: the impact of morbidity criteria

Mitchell, K. R. et al. (2016) Estimating the prevalence of sexual function problems: the impact of morbidity criteria. Journal of Sex Research, 53(8), pp. 955-967. (doi:10.1080/00224499.2015.1089214) (PMID:26605494) (PMCID:PMC5044769)

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Abstract

Establishing the clinical significance of symptoms of sexual dysfunction is challenging. To address this, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) introduced two new morbidity criteria (duration and symptom severity) to the existing criteria of distress. This study sought to establish the impact of these three criteria on the population prevalence of sexual function problems. The data come from a national probability survey (Natsal-3) and are based on 11,509 male and female participants aged 16–74, reporting at least one sexual partner in the past year. The key outcomes were: proportion of individuals reporting proxy measures of DSM-5 problems, and the proportion of those meeting morbidity criteria. We found that among sexually active men, the prevalence of reporting one or more of four specific sexual problems was 38.2%, but 4.2% after applying the three morbidity criteria; corresponding figures for women reporting one or more of three specific sexual problems, were 22.8% and 3.6%. Just over a third of men and women reporting a problem meeting all three morbidity criteria had sought help in the last year. We conclude that the DSM-5 morbidity criteria impose a focus on clinically significant symptoms.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Dr Kirstin
Authors: Mitchell, K. R., Jones, K. G., Wellings, K., Johnson, A. M., Graham, C. A., Datta, J., Copas, A. J., Bancroft, J., Sonnenberg, P., Macdowell, W., Field, N., and Mercer, C. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Journal of Sex Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0022-4499
ISSN (Online):1559-8519
Published Online:25 November 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Kirstin R. Mitchell, Kyle G. Jones, Anne M. Johnson, Cynthia A. Graham, Jessica Datta, Andrew J. Copas, John Bancroft, Pam Sonnenberg, Wendy Macdowall, Nigel Field, and Catherine H. Mercer.
First Published:First published in Journal of Sex Research 53(8):955-967
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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