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Behav Res Ther. 1991;29(3):217-24.

Low sexual desire: sex therapy results and prognostic factors.

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  • 1University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, U.K.


In a prospective study of 60 couples who entered sex therapy because of the female partners' low sexual desire, 38 (63.3%) completed treatment and 34 (56.7%) had a positive outcome. The principal predictor of completion of treatment was the male partners' apparent motivation at the outset. Poorer outcome was associated with younger age of the couple (especially the male partner) and a shorter duration of the sexual problem. Surprisingly, few aspects of the couples' general relationships prior to treatment were related to outcome, except for poorer outcome being associated with a history of previous separations. The apparent lack of significant contribution of general relationship factors and psychopathology to outcome probably reflects the stringency of the initial selection process. Eventual outcome was also related to couples' progress by the third treatment session. The modest outcome of treatment for low sexual desire in this and other studies emphasises the need for further understanding of factors which contribute to this problem and for the development of novel treatment strategies.

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