COSMIN database

Questionnaires to measure sexual quality of life

Arrington, R., Cofrancesco, J., and Wu, A. W.
CONTEXT: Sex is important to quality of life. There are a number of questionnaires to measure sexual-function, but many lack applicability and usefulness to certain groups.

OBJECTIVE: To identify questionnaires measuring sexual function, determine the domains most commonly assessed, and examine evidence for their usefulness in different populations.

DATA SOURCES: Computerized literature search using Medline, PubMed and PsychLit, reference lists, and unpublished reports, published in English between 1957 and 2001. MESH terms included sexual function, sexual dysfunction, sexual satisfaction, quality of life, and questionnaire. Articles were excluded if the questionnaire did not measure sexual function from the patient perspective.

DATA EXTRACTION: Questionnaires were grouped as general questionnaires that include a sexual function domain, and sexual-function-specific questionnaires. Questionnaires were evaluated for domains, applicability to different populations, and evidence for reliability, validity and responsiveness.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Literature search yielded 62 questionnaires, 57 which assessed sexual function from the patient perspective; 12 were general and 45 specific. Six domains were commonly represented, including interest and desire, satisfaction/quality of experience, excitement/arousal, performance, attitude/behavior, and relationship. Only 28% could be used in homosexual patients, and 52% were applicable to both genders; 57% were designed for use in chronic disease populations. Only nine questionnaires had evidence for both adequate reliability and validity.

CONCLUSIONS: Current measures of sexual functioning often exclude important domains, lack applicability to gender and sexual preference groups, or lack adequate testing of validity and testing in important populations. Future questionnaires should take into account these concerns.
Qual Life Res
0962-9343 (Print)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Cognitive/mental functioning
General health perceptions / HRQoL:
Self-rated health
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period and related symptoms
Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism
Diseases of and symptoms related to the circulatory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the ear and mastoid process
Diseases of and symptoms related to the eye and adnexa
Diseases of and symptoms related to the genitourinary system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the respiratory system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the skin and subcutaneous tissue
Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and related symptoms
External causes of morbidity and mortality
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
Neoplasms and related symptoms
Pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium and related symptom
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
6 - Clinical rating scales
BISF - Brief Index of Sexual Functioning (versions: BISF-W - BISF-for Women
BSFI - Brief Sexual Function Inventory
Deragotis Interview for Sexual Function
DSFI - Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory
GRISS - Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction
Hanson Assessment of Sexual Health
Heterosexual Behavioral Assessment Females
Heterosexual Behavioral Assessment Males
Heterosexual Scale
Homosexual Scale
Hypogonadism and Sexual Function
IIEF - International Index of Erectile Function (versions: IIEF-5 items; IIEF-6 items)
IIQ - Incontinence Impact Questionnaire   
ISS - Index of Sexual Satisfaction
JAMA Patient Page Sexual Dysfunction
Jewish General Hospital Sexual Self-Monitoring Form
Leiden Impotence Questionnaire
MFSQ - McCoy Female Sexuality Questionnaire
Multiaxial Problem-oriented Diagnostic System of SF
Potency and Prostatectomy
Radical Prostatectomy Questionnaire
Sabbatsberg Sexual Rating Scale Revised
SAI - Sexual Arousability Inventory (Also SAI-E - expanded version)
SAQ - Sexual Adjustment Questionnaire
Scalability of Sexual Experience
Segraves Sexual Symptomatology Interview
SES - Sexuality Experience Scale
Sexual Activity of Men presenting Prostatism and Prostatectomy
Sexual Dysfunction in HIV + Men
Sexual Dysfunction in HIV + Men (w/neuropathy)
Sexual Dysfunction Schizophrenia
Sexual Function Scale
Sexual Interaction System Scale
Sexual Interest and Satisfaction Scale
Sexual Symptom Distress Scale
SHQ - Clark Sexual History Questionnaire
SII - Sexual Interaction Inventory
SIQ - Shoulder Instability Questionnaire
SI - Sexual Inventory
SOMA - Sexual Orientation Methods and Anxiety
SSES-EF - Sexual Self-Efficacy Scales in Erectile Functioning
Vaginal changes and Sexuality in Women with Cervical CA
WSFQ - Watts Sexual Function Questionnaire [alias: WSFS - Watts Sexual Functioning Scale]