The effects of psychological interventions on sexual function of women: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Roghieh Kharaghani Department of Midwifery, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Mina Esm Khani Department of Midwifery, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Marieh Mahmoodi Dangesaraki Department of Midwifery, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Maryam Damghanian Mail Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Department of Reproductive Health and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
psychological techniques; sexual dysfunction; women; meta-analysis; randomized controlled trial


Background & Aim: Despite expand using psychological interventions, there is no obvious evidence about the effects of them on sexual function. The study aimed to determine the effect of psychological interventions based on different approaches to the sexual function of women.

Methods & Materials: Pubmed, ISI, SCOPUS, EMBASE, Cochrane reviews, Science direct, SID, and Magiran were searched up to May 2019. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials in which the effect of psychological interventions on the sexual function of women was assessed using the Female Sexual Function Index without any limitations based on age, ethnicity, language, and nationality. Two of the authors screened the titles/abstracts and obtained all full text of the candidate studies, independently. The quality of studies was assessed using the Cochrane checklist risk of bias. Meta-analysis performed via standardized mean differences with a random-effects model using Review Manager Software (RevMan) version 5.3.

Results: Twenty-one studies with 1460 participants were included. The most effective psychological intervention was individual and group type (SMD=3.82; 95% CI, 2.56, 5.08; P<0.001) with cognitive approach (SMD=2.50; 95% CI, 1.06, 3.95; P<0.001), especially in women with no specific condition (SMD=2.17; 95% CI, 1.20-3.15; P<0.001). The effect of psychological interventions on sexual function increased from 1.48 in one month to 2.30 and 3.78 in two and three months after the intervention; however, it decreased to 1.43 in six months or more follows ups (all Ps<0.001). There was a significant change in all FSFI domains (all Ps<0.01).

Conclusion: Based on the results, individual and group psychological interventions using the cognitive approach and multidimensional therapies with long term follow-ups are suggested for the treatment of sexual dysfunction.


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How to Cite
Kharaghani R, Esm Khani M, Mahmoodi Dangesaraki M, Damghanian M. The effects of psychological interventions on sexual function of women: A systematic review and meta-analysis. NPT. 7(3):169-182.
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