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In a prospective investigation of the long-term outcome of 140 couples who had entered sex therapy 1-6 yrs earlier for a variety of sexual dysfunctions, successful follow-up, mostly by interview, was possible with at least one partner in 75% of cases. While recurrence of sexual difficulties was common, coping strategies were identified which often helped overcome relapses. Improvements in couples' general relationships resulting from treatment were usually sustained. Long-term outcome was excellent for vaginismus, good for erectile dysfunction, but often poor for premature ejaculation, and especially, for female impaired sexual interest. While the results of this study support the continued use of sex therapy for sexual dysfunction, they also emphasize the need for new therapeutic approaches for problems with poor outcome, especially female loss of sexual interest. © 1986.

Original publication




Journal article


Behaviour Research and Therapy

Publication Date





665 - 675