The sex effects scale: pilot validation in a healthy population

Psychopharmacol Bull. 2010;43(3):15-25.


Objective: Sexual dysfunction is frequently associated with depression and is often exacerbated by antidepressant treatment. The true prevalence of antidepressant minduced dysfunction during a major depressive episode is generally underreported, due to reliance on spontaneous self-report data and the reluctance of physicians to use standardized rating scales. The aim of this study is to validate the Sex Effects scale (SexFX) in a healthy population, addressing internal and inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, as well as convergent and divergent validity.

Materials and methods: The SexFX is a 13-item scale that assesses severity of sexual dysfunction across the domains of desire, arousal, and orgasm based on the frequency of behaviour. Healthy participants (N = 53) had the SexFX and Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ) administered at two timepoints, two weeks apart.

Results: The Cronbach's a was 0.91 and 0.93 for the male and female scales, respectively, and inter-rater reliability was very high with ICCs of 0.99 for both the male and female scales. Concurrent validity with the CSFQ was adequate.

Conclusion: The SexFX demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties, providing the results necessary to proceed with further validation trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Ontario
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult