Report of findings in a DSM-5 field trial for hypersexual disorder

J Sex Med. 2012 Nov;9(11):2868-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02936.x. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


Introduction: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for hypersexual disorder (HD) have been proposed to capture symptoms reported by patients seeking help for out-of-control sexual behavior. The proposed criteria created by the DSM-5 Work Group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders require evaluation in a formal field trial.

Aim: This DSM-5 Field Trial was designed to assess the reliability and validity of the criteria for HD in a sample of patients seeking treatment for hypersexual behavior, a general psychiatric condition, or a substance-related disorder.

Method: Patients (N = 207) were assessed for psychopathology and HD by blinded raters to determine inter-rater reliability of the HD criteria and following a 2-week interval by a third rater to evaluate the stability of the HD criteria over time. Patients also completed a number of self-report measures to assess the validity of the HD criteria.

Main outcome measures: HD and psychopathology were measured by structured diagnostic interviews, the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory, Sexual Compulsivity Scale, and Hypersexual Behavior Consequences Scale. Emotional dysregulation and stress proneness were measured by facets on the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised.

Results: Inter-rater reliability was high and the HD criteria showed good stability over time. Sensitivity and specificity indices showed that the criteria for HD accurately reflected the presenting problem among patients. The diagnostic criteria for HD showed good validity with theoretically related measures of hypersexuality, impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, and stress proneness, as well as good internal consistency. Patients assessed for HD also reported a vast array of consequences for hypersexual behavior that were significantly greater than those diagnosed with a general psychiatric condition or substance-related disorder.

Conclusions: The HD criteria proposed by the DSM-5 Work Group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders appear to demonstrate high reliability and validity when applied to patients in a clinical setting among a group of raters with modest training on assessing HD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Paraphilic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paraphilic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Paraphilic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Report
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology