A Comparative Study of the Sexual Function of Institutionalized Patients with Schizophrenia


Maria José Acuña, MD, UGC Salud Mental, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Hospital Universitario de Valme, ctra. de Cádiz. Km. 548, Seville 41014, Spain. Tel: 0034955016080; Fax: 0034955015740; E-mail: mjacuoli@hotmail.com


Introduction.  Sexual dysfunction occurs frequently in patients with schizophrenia.

Aim.  To assess the sexual function of institutionalized patients with schizophrenia and compare it to both that of noninstitutionalized schizophrenic patients as well as patients without any mental illness.

Methods.  A cross-sectional comparative analysis between three groups: Group A: 75 patients with schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorder according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) criteria, admitted into public psychiatric residential facilities; Group B: 41 patients with the same diagnosis who live in the community; Group C: 152 patients with no mental illness attended to by a Primary Care Medical Center.

Main Outcome Measures.  The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia and Changes in Sexual Function Questionnaire were used to complete the study.

Results.  When institutionalized patients were compared to the control group, the impairment of sexual function was identified in all areas except Arousal in women and the percentage of dysfunction in Desire-Interest for both sexes. The results for noninstitutionalized schizophrenic males indicated a deficit in Pleasure and Orgasm and in Pleasure and Desire-Frequency for females, when compared with the control group. The overall subscale indicated that 71.2% of males and 57.1% of females in the institutionalized group experienced sexual dysfunction compared with 10% of males and 50% of females in the noninstitutionalized group, and only 12.7% of women in the control group.

Conclusions.  Most areas of sexual function are impaired among patients with schizophrenia, especially among institutionalized patients. However, their percentage of sexual dysfunction associated with sexual thoughts or fantasies was similar to that of patients without mental illness. Acuña MJ, Martín JC, Graciani M, Cruces A, and Gotor F. A comparative study of the sexual function of institutionalized patients with schizophrenia. J Sex Med 2010;7:3414–3423.