COSMIN database

Reliable and valid self-report outcome measures in sexual (dys)function: a systematic review

Daker-White, G.
This paper examines the published reliability and validity of non-disease specific, self-report measures of sexual function. Relevant papers were found in a search of the Embase electronic bibliographic database, for English language papers (published 1980-99) reporting on the psychometric testing of sexual function questionnaires. Existing published reviews or collections of such instruments were also searched, and the reference lists of all papers obtained were "back-searched" to identify other measures. Included measures were evaluated in a systematic manner using published standards concerning the validity, internal consistency, and reproducibility of health measurement scales and quality of life measures. Twenty-three self-report measures were identified for inclusion in this review. A further 2 measures were identified by reviewers of this paper after the main searches were undertaken. One measure was found not to be exclusively self-report. Eleven (46% of 24 included measures) did not meet minimum published standards for reliability, internal consistency, and validity. However one of these was reliable and valid in the female-version only. Of the 14 reliable and valid measures, or versions thereof (58% of 24), 2 (8% of 24) met "superior" psychometric standards. Many measures were developed for use with patients in sex or marital therapy, and are mainly suitable for administration to people with long-term sex partners. It is sensible to assume that instruments are only reliable and valid in the often specialized populations in which they were developed.
Arch Sex Behav
0004-0002 (Print)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Cognitive/mental functioning
Overall quality of life:
Overall quality of life
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
BISF - Brief Index of Sexual Functioning (versions: BISF-W - BISF-for Women
BSFQ - Brief Sexual Function Questionnaire for Men
CMSH-SFQ - Center for Marital and Sexual Health Sexual Function Questionnaire
CSFQ - Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (Also: CSFQ-14 - 14 item version)
DISF(-SR) - Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning(-Self Report)
DSFI - Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory
FSFI - Female Sexual Function Index (and FSFI-BC - Breast Cancer)
GRISS - Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction
GSDS - General Symptom Distress Scale
IIEF - International Index of Erectile Function (versions: IIEF-5 items; IIEF-6 items)
ISS - Index of Sexual Satisfaction
MFP/IQ - Male Function Profile/Impotence Questionnaire ; Fineman & Rettinger, 1991 /
MFSQ - McCoy Female Sexuality Questionnaire
SAQ - Sexual Activity Questionnaire
SDIHW - Sexual Dimensions Instrument for Hispanic Women
SDS - Sexual Dysfunction Scale
SES - Sexuality Experience Scale
SFS - Sexual Function Scale
SHF - Sexual History Form
SII - Sexual Interaction Inventory
SISS - Sexual Interaction System Scale
SSDI - Sexual Symptoms Distress Index
SSES-EF - Sexual Self-Efficacy Scales in Erectile Functioning
SSES-FF - Sexual Self-Efficacy Scales in Female Functioning
WSFQ - Watts Sexual Function Questionnaire [alias: WSFS - Watts Sexual Functioning Scale]