Sexual Dysfunction in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder in Remission

Cyclothymic disorder: treatments
Cyclothymic disorder: treatments
Patients with MDD with or without sexual dysfunction were evaluated 2 months in remission and assessed with the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale.
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NEW ORLEANS — The majority of patients in remission from major depressive disorder (MDD) experience residual sexual dysfunction after 2 months according to a study presented at the Annual US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress, held September 16-19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Maelys Touya, MSc, PharmD, from Lundbeck US, a Pharmaceutical company in Deerfield, Illinois, and fellow researchers ran an observational study aimed to compare the clinical burden of depression in patients with vs without sexual dysfunction after achieving remission of MDD.

Participants were recruited from the Prospective Epidemiological Research on Functioning Outcomes Related to Major depressive disorder (PERFORM) study (n =1159), a longitudinal non-interventional cohort study with a 2-year follow-up.

Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) scores were used to determine sexual dysfunction in participants and the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) score determined participant MDD remission at month 2. Participants also filled out several surveys and questionnaires including:

  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
  • 12-Item Short-Form Survey Mental Health Component Summary (SF-12-MCS)
  • 12-Item Short-Form Survey Physical Health Component Summary (SF-12-PCS)
  • Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) and,
  • Perceived Deficit Questionnaire (PDQ-5)

The results, taken from the remission assessment scores for participants at month 2 of remission, showed that of the 132 participants with completed ASEX and CGI-S surveys, 69.7% (n=92) of participants had sexual dysfunction vs 30% (n=40) of participants who did not have sexual dysfunction. At month 2 of remission, mean scores were higher in participants with residual sexual dysfunction compared with participants without sexual dysfunction for PHQ-9 (10.8 (6.0) vs 6.5 (4.4)), SDS (12.8 (7.1) vs 9.1 (6.6)) and PDQ-5 (9.5 (4.6) vs 7.3 (4.3)), respectively, indicating greater depressive symptoms.

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Also at month 2 of remission, SF-12-MCS (34.9 (10.8)) and SF-12-PCS (45.3 (11.3)) scores were lower in participants with residual sexual dysfunction compared with those without residual sexual dysfunction, (40.0 (10.4)) and (51.7 (6.9)), respectively, according to the study remission assessment scores. 

“Comparisons of depression severity, cognitive, functional, and health status outcomes in patients in remission at month 2 with vs without sexual dysfunction are suggestive of worse prognoses for patients with residual sexual dysfunction,” according to the presentation. 


The researchers report several limitations including small sample size in participants without sexual dysfunction, (n=40), lack of patient data available for all scales at each time point, lack of patients available at month 12 for analysis, and study location.


The researchers received financial support from Lundbeck for the study.


Touya M, Diamand F, Saragoussi D, Francois C. Impact of sexual dysfunction in patients in remission from major depressive disorder. Presented at: 30th Annual US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress; September 16-19, 2017; New Orleans, Louisiana. Poster 262.