The effects of sexual therapy interventions for sexual problems
All health care professionals have a role in promoting sexual health, knowledge and allowing for questions. Sexual problems are fairly common. People are, however, reluctant to seek help. In this report we aim to answer questions on the effect of sexual therapeutic interventions on people with different sexual problems. Sexual therapeutic interventions overall are effective for people with sexual problems. This was shown for a broad spectrum of both populations and sexual problems.
- In men with erectile dysfunction group therapy had a positive effect alone or as supplement to medical treatment (sildenafil).
- There was a positive effect of sexual therapeutic interventions (as cognitive therapy) for women with loss of sexual desires and orgastic dysfunction. It was unclear if sexual therapeutic interventions had any effect on gynecological pain in women. Sexual function was improved after short sexual therapeutic interventions in women with gynecological cancers.
- For couples with sexual problems there were improvements with couple therapy with communication skills and conflict solving, as a supplement to sexual therapy.
- For people with severe mental illness we found positive effect of different sexual therapeutic interventions to promote sexual health.
- Self help, as information in written or audio/visual material (bibliotherapy) had an overall positive effect for men and women regardless of sexual problem.
- It was not clear if sexual therapeutic interventions had a positive effect on men with cancer. The interventions might be harmful for this group.
The results, however, must be interpreted with caution as the studygroups were small, there are limitations in methodological quality and large variations in what is defined and presented as sexual therapeutic interventions. We can not rule out a possible publication bias in the material which means that studies with a negative effect might not have been published or not identified by us.