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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;56(4):336-47. doi: 10.1177/0020764008101635. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Belonging and doing: important factors for satisfaction with sexual relations as perceived by people with persistent mental illness.

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  • 1Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University SE-20506, Malmö, Sweden.



It is increasingly acknowledged that satisfaction with sexual relations forms an important aspect of people's lives, but little is known of factors associated with this phenomenon among people with mental illness.


This study aimed to investigate how demographic, social, clinical, and health-related factors were related to satisfaction with sexual relations.


Patients with persistent mental illness (N = 103), recruited from an outpatient unit, were assessed regarding the target variables.


No clinical variable, and only one demographic factor, namely being a cohabitant, was found to be important to satisfaction with sexual relations. Several social factors, pertaining to how everyday occupations were valued and how the social network was perceived, were shown to be of importance. General quality of life, but not self-rated health or interviewer-assessed psychopathology, was also important for satisfaction with sexual relations. A multivariate analysis showed that the most significant factor for satisfaction with sexual relations was how everyday activities were valued, and being a cohabitant explained some additional variation.


Previous research indicates that the mental health care services largely neglect sexual problems among people with mental illness, and the findings may provide additional knowledge that may be used in the support of this target group.

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