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Sexual dysfunction is a common problem after stroke. Sexual rehabilitation is recommended but little is known about the types or effectiveness of this intervention.


To assess the effectiveness of a structured sexual rehabilitation programme alongside the use of written material in comparison with the use of written material alone, and to evaluate the impact of both interventions on sexual and psychological function in an Australian stroke cohort.


Twelve participants (patients n=10; partners n=2) were randomly assigned to an intervention (n=4) or control (n=6) group. Standardised measurements were used to assess: sexual functioning (Changes in Sexual Function Questionnaire Short-Form) (CSFQ-14) (primary outcome); psychological functioning (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale) (DASS); physical functioning (Functional Independence Measure); and quality of life (Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life scale–39-item generic version) (SAQOL-39g). All measures were assessed at baseline (T1) and six weeks after the programme (T2).


There was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups at T2 in sexual functioning (CSFQ-14), psychological functioning (DASS) and quality of life (SAQOL-39g); however, there was a trend in both groups toward improvement in all outcome measures at T2 compared with T1.


This preliminary study demonstrates the feasibility and importance of providing sexual rehabilitation following stroke, and that sexual rehabilitation may improve sexual and psychological functioning and quality of life. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings for stroke survivors and their partners to address sexual issues that may arise and perceived rehabilitation needs.



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