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Ind Psychiatry J. 2019 Jan-Jun;28(1):75-81. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_16_19. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Evaluation of sexual dysfunction and quality of life in patients with severe mental illness: A cross-sectional study from a tertiary care center in Chhattisgarh.

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Department of Psychiatry, CCM Medical College, Durg, Chhattisgarh, India.
Department of Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Durg, Chhattisgarh, India.
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.



Sexual dysfunctions (SDs) are common and lead to psychological distress and impair quality of life (QOL). However, little attention has been paid to explore SD in severe mental illnesses (SMIs). Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the occurrence of SD and its impact on the QOL in persons suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression and compare it with healthy controls.

Materials and Methods:

In this cross-sectional study, 79 clinically stable patients and 50 healthy controls underwent evaluation for SD on the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, and their QOL was measured using the WHO QOL-BREF scale. Chi-square test was used for the categorical variables, whereas comparison of continuous variables was done by t-test with post hoc corrections.


Compared to healthy controls, patients with depression had significantly higher rates of SD in the domain of obtaining penile erection (P = 0.019), ability to reach orgasm (P = 0.03), and satisfaction from orgasm (P = 0.01). Patients with schizophrenia had higher rates of problems in achieving arousal (P < 0.01), penile erection (P = 0.03), and satisfaction from orgasm (P = 0.03), whereas those with bipolar disorder only differed significantly on the domain of ability to reach orgasm (P = 0.03). However, patients fared better than the controls on various domains of QOL (except social domain).


A significant number of patients with SMI suffer from SD. Hence, it should be made a routine practice to evaluate and address the problem of SDs in patients with SMI.


Bipolar disorder; depression; quality of life; schizophrenia; sexual dysfunction

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