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A Systematic Literature Review of Health-related Quality of Life Measures for Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder.



Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) / Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD) impacts health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of women and their partners, yet existing measures fail to adequately capture relevant concepts (ie, what is essential to measure including symptoms/impacts) important to women with HSDD/FSIAD.


To identify HRQoL tools used to assess women with HSDD/FSIAD, and to evaluate their psychometric properties (ie, reliability, validity, and responsiveness).


We conducted searches in PubMed, Embase and PsychINFO from June 5, 1989 to September 30, 2020 for studies in women with HSDD/FSIAD and psychometric analyses (English only). Principles of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses, the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments Risk of Bias Checklist and other psychometric criteria were applied. Based on this search, 56 papers were evaluated including 15 randomized-controlled trials, 11 observational/single arm/open label studies, and 30 psychometric studies.


Of the 18 measures identified, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised (FSDS-R) were included in most studies (> 50%). General HRQoL instruments were not used in any of the clinical trials; the SF-12, SF-36 and EQ-5D-5L were reported in two observational studies. No instruments achieved positive quality ratings across all psychometric criteria. The FSFI, FSDS-R, Sexual Event Diary (SED) and the Sexual Desire Relationship Distress Scale (SDRDS), were the only measures to receive a positive rating for content validity.


Reliable and valid HRQoL measures that include sexual desire and distress are needed to provide a more systematic and comprehensive assessment of HRQoL and treatment benefits in women with HSDD/FSIAD. While inferences about HRQoL are limited due to the lack of uniformity in concepts assessed and limited psychometric evaluation of these measures in women with HSDD/FSIAD, opportunities exist for the development of reliable and validated tools that comprehensively measure the most relevant and important concepts in women with HSDD/FSIAD. Lim-Watson MZ, Hays RD, Kingsberg S, et al. A systematic literature review of health-related quality of life measures for women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder. Sex Med Rev 2022;10:23-41.

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