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Background: Prevalence data on sexual dysfunctions indicate a high need for therapy and health care for sexual problems. One of the study's aims was to investigate the extent of that need in patients of a psychotherapeutic university outpatient clinic. Besides, we examined to what extent sexual problems are recognised and treated by behaviour therapists in training. Patients and Methods: In a patient study, we tested 173 outpatients (aged 16-64 years, 71.7% female) who were seeking psychotherapy. By completing the German version of the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, participants rated their sexual interest, their ability to sexual arousal, to experience orgasm, to attain erection/lubrication and their general sexual satisfaction in the past month. In a therapist study, we examined whether 16 therapists in training were able to differentiate between patients with and without sexual dysfunction, whether they brought up the topic during therapy and whether they treated the sexual dysfunction. Results: Depending on the type of problem, one out of two to three women and one out of three to five men report sexual problems. Therapists recognise sexual problems in half of the patients, and bring up the issue of sexuality in every second patient. In fact, every third case of sexual dysfunction is treated. Conclusion: Behaviour therapy training should put a stronger emphasis on the topic of 'sexual dysfunctions'. © 2006 S. Karger GmbH.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





166 - 172