Effectiveness of a structured sexual rehabilitation programme following stroke: A randomized controlled trial

J Rehabil Med. 2017 Apr 6;49(4):333-340. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2219.

Abstract

Background: Sexual activity is an integral part of life; it is important to address sexual health after stroke, but this is often poorly done.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a structured sexual rehabilitation programme compared with written information alone regarding sexual and psychological functioning (anxiety, depression, stress), functional independence and quality of life in an Australian stroke cohort.

Methods: A total of 68 participants were randomized to a structured sexual rehabilitation programme (treatment group; n = 35) or to written information alone (control group; n = 33). Outcome measures included: Sexual Functioning Questionnaire Short Form; Depression, Anxiety Stress Scale; Functional Independence Measure, and Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39 Generic. Assessments were performed at baseline, 6 weeks and 6 months after the intervention. Participant's preferences regarding how they would like to receive information, who from, and how frequently, were collected at baseline.

Results: There was no difference between groups for any outcome measures. Half of the participants (51%) wished to receive information and were divided equally into preferring written information vs face-to-face counselling, with the majority (54%) preferring information after discharge from an inpatient setting.

Conclusion: Provision of written information alone appears to be as effective as a 30-min individualized sexual rehabilitation programme in an inpatient setting. Further research is needed regarding longer term outcomes and outpatient settings.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires