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J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6(3):730-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01153.x. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Validation of the decreased sexual desire screener (DSDS): a brief diagnostic instrument for generalized acquired female hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA.



An accurate diagnosis of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) currently relies on a time-consuming interview with an expert clinician. Limited access to such expertise means that many women with HSDD remain undiagnosed. The Decreased Sexual Desire Screener (DSDS) was developed to provide clinicians who are neither trained nor specialized in Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) with a brief diagnostic procedure for the diagnosis of generalized acquired HSDD in women.


A prospective non-treatment multicenter study enrolled 263 women at 27 centers in North America in order to test the validity of the DSDS for diagnosing generalized acquired HSDD in women. Subjects completed the DSDS at the screening visit and their answers were reviewed with a clinician who was not an expert in FSD ("non-expert clinician"). Separately and while being unaware of the non-expert clinician's diagnosis, an expert clinician conducted a standard diagnostic interview.


Diagnostic outcomes (generalized acquired HSDD or not) were compared. Primary endpoints included the sensitivity and specificity of the DSDS relative to the standard diagnostic interview. Subject and non-expert clinician debriefing were obtained via a written, structured interview. This ensured that a large sample could be tested under uniform conditions across multiple sites.


Diagnostic assessment by DSDS and standard diagnostic interview were in agreement in 85.2% (224/263) of cases, with the sensitivity and specificity of the DSDS 83.6% and 87.8%, respectively. Debriefing showed that the five DSDS questions were well understood by 85.4% (76/89) of subjects included in the debriefing exercise, while non-expert clinicians considered the DSDS questions adequate to diagnose HSDD in 92.9% (235/253) of cases.


The DSDS is a sensitive and specific brief diagnostic instrument for generalized acquired HSDD in women that is quick and easy to use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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