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J Sex Med. 2010 Mar;7(3):1139-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01635.x. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Development and validation of a 6-item version of the female sexual function index (FSFI) as a diagnostic tool for female sexual dysfunction.

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Department of Medical Pathophysiology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.



A limiting step in the evaluation of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is the availability of a rapid screening procedure. Often, practitioners avoid investigating sexual symptoms due to concerns of insufficient time or lack of proper tools to address FSD.


The purpose of this study was to prepare and validate an abridged form of the most popular psychometric diagnostic test (Female Sexual Function Index, FSFI-19) to provide a fast screener of FSD for easy use in outpatient visits, epidemiological studies, and assessment of treatment response.


We interviewed and administered the FSFI-19 to 200 women attending outpatient clinics for sexual and reproductive medicine. Forty women were excluded because they had no sexual activity or failed to attend the retest visit. Patients were evaluated on two subsequent visits to validate the abridged form of the questionnaire. Overall, 105 were found to suffer from a FSD.


We assessed, individually, the sensibility and sensitivity of all questions of the full-length FSFI. We then estimated the performance of each item with respect to the specific sexual domain they address. By selecting the best combination of performing items in each domain, we built an abridged, 6-item form of the FSFI.


The Receiver Operating Characteristic curves of the FSFI-6 showed that women who scored <or=19 were classified as having FSD. Using the cut-off of 19, the sensitivity and specificity of the test were, 0.93 and 0.94, respectively. Reliability, internal consistency, and stability on retest were also good.


The abridged FSFI-6 is a valuable tool for screening women that are likely to suffer from FSD. In six simple questions, taking no more than 3 minutes, a score of less than 19 indicates the need for further investigations, including the full-length FSFI-19 and a dedicated interview. In conclusion, this is a novel tool that can help any doctor to disclose FSD rapidly and efficiently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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