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ORIGINAL RESEARCH—PSYCHOLOGY: The Relationship between Self-Reported Sexual Satisfaction and General Well-Being in Women

Authors

  • Sonia Louise Davison PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Vic., Australia;
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  • Robin Jean Bell PhD,

    1. Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Vic., Australia;
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  • Maria LaChina Assoc. Dip. Med. Sec. Prac.,

    1. Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Vic., Australia;
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  • Samantha Lee Holden B.Sc.,

    1. Raigmore Hospital Cancer Trials Unit, Inverness, UK
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  • Susan Ruth Davis PhD

    1. Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Vic., Australia;
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  • Financial support: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Grant numbers 219279, 465145.

Sonia L. Davison, PhD, Women's Health Program, Department of Medicine, Central & Eastern Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Prahran, Vic. 3181, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9903-0827; Fax: +61-3-9903-0828; E-mail: sonia.davison@med.monash.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  The extent to which low sexual function or sexual dissatisfaction in women impacts on well-being remains uncertain, yet this is a critical issue in the controversy as to the benefits of pharmacotherapy for women seeking treatment for female sexual dysfunction.

Aim.  To explore the relationship between well-being and self-perceived satisfaction with sexual function in women and to determine if there is an independent effect of menopausal status or age.

Design.  A community-based cross-sectional study.

Patients.  A total of 421 women, aged 18 to 65 years were recruited from the community. Women were required to self-identify at study outset as being either satisfied or dissatisfied with their sexual life and be premenopausal or postmenopausal.

Main Outcome Measures.  Scores from the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB), the Beck Depression Index (BDI) and a daily diary of sexual function.

Results.  A group of 349 women were included in the analysis. Total PGWB and domain scores of positive well-being and vitality were lower in dissatisfied women compared to satisfied women. PGWB total and domain scores of depressed mood, positive well-being and vitality were higher in older women. Menopause did not have an independent effect on well-being.

Conclusions.  Women who self-identify as having sexual dissatisfaction have lower psychological general well-being. These findings reinforce the importance of addressing sexual health and well-being in women as an essential component of their health care. Davison SL, Bell RJ, LaChina M, Holden SL, and Davis SR. The relationship between self-reported sexual satisfaction and general well-being in women. J Sex Med 2009;6:2690–2697.

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