Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Sociodemographic and clinical correlates of sexual dysfunction among psychiatric outpatients receiving common psychotropic medications in a Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Northern Nigeria

V.O. Olisah, T.L. Sheikh, E.R. Abah, A.F. Mahmud‑Ajeigbe


Background: Sexual dysfunction is common in patients receiving psychotropic medications and may reduce their quality of life and medication adherence with resultant negative impact on treatment outcomes.

Objectives: In this study, we described the various types of sexual dysfunction among psychiatric outpatients receiving psychotropic medications and the sociodemographic and clinical correlates associated with it.

Settings and Design: A descriptive, cross‑sectional study conducted in a Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Northern Nigeria.

Methodology: The participants were made up of a consecutive sample of 255 outpatients attending psychiatric clinic from January to March 2014. Data were collected on sociodemographic items, patient’s clinical diagnosis, psychotropic medications received, and duration of treatment. Information about sexual functioning was obtained using the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire for the male participants and the Female Sexual Function Index for the female participants.

Results: The mean age of the patients studied was 34.7 years (standard deviation [SD] =5.9), with a mean duration of treatment of 3.8 (SD = 6.5) years. Males constituted 47.8% and patients with schizophrenia constituted 43.1%; other diagnoses include bipolar affective disorder, recurrent depressive disorder, and substance use disorder. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 64.3%. Age, employment status, and psychotropic medication use were significantly associated with sexual dysfunction; however, only employment status and psychotropic medication use significantly predicted sexual dysfunction.

Conclusions: We concluded that sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent among patients receiving psychotropic medication; as such inquiries about sexual function should be routinely carried out by clinicians as this may negatively impact on adherence and quality of life.

Keywords: Psychiatric outpatients, psychotropic medications, sexual dysfunction
AJOL African Journals Online