A Naturalistic Prospective Open Study of the Effects of Adjunctive Therapy of Sexual Dysfunction in Chronic PTSD Patients Academic Article uri icon


  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms cause dysfunction in broad areas of patients' lives and those of their families. Sexual dysfunction (SD) is common in these patients and aggravates their distress, affecting overall sexual activity, desire, arousal, orgasm, activity and satisfaction. PTSD clinic patients are frequently referred for consultation and treatment in the SD clinic. This prospective naturalistic follow-up study of a random group of patients was intended to evaluate response to pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions for SD, in terms of both sexual functioning and overall symptomatology. Ten patients fulfilling DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD (one woman and nine men) were recruited. Treatment for the sexual symptoms was tailored individually and was administered in addition to the continuing (stable) treatment in the PTSD clinic. After two months of treatment for the sexual symptoms, statistically significant improvements in all domains of sexual functioning were observed. In parallel, statistically significant improvements in all domains of the Impact of Events Scale scores were observed, both on the avoidance and intrusive subscales. There were no significant differences in response to treatment in terms of time elapsed since the onset of PTSD, or the pattern or severity of sexual and PTSD symptoms. The results of this modest study demonstrate the importance of relating to the SD of PTSD patients irrespective of the duration or severity of their disorder. In this mixed group of PTSD patients with varied duration of symptoms, both SD and PTSD core symptoms improved significantly in response to individually tailored adjunctive treatment of the SD.

publication date

  • February 1, 2008