Prevalence, correlates, mechanisms, and treatment of sexual health problems after traumatic brain injury: A scoping review

Grahame Kenneth Simpson, Ian J. Baguley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Sexuality is an important domain affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI). A scoping review was conducted to identify the evidence base derived from quantitative studies investigating sexual health issues after TBI. A systematic search of 4 electronic databases found 1833 citations published as of the end of 2010, of which 24 met the inclusion/ exclusion criteria. Only 2 treatment studies were identified (a single case treating premature ejaculation and a case series treating sexual dysfunction induced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors); both were rated poorly for methodological quality. Fourteen studies reported the prevalence of sexual dysfunction (drive, arousal, orgasm), with rates generally ranging between 10% and 50%. One study reported about the knowledge of safer sex and another reported about the agency use of a sex education program for adults with TBI. Six studies reported mechanisms underpinning sexual function/dysfunction: 2 found that reduction in sexual cognition may be linked to reduced sex drive; 2 reported intact penile function among men in a vegetative state; and 2 reported the duration of amenorrhea and female fertility rates after TBI. Overall, most studies were from a single center, few were controlled, and all observational studies were cross-sectional, meaning that the course of sexual dysfunction after TBI is unknown. Given the frequency and complexity of sexual health issues after TBI, more high quality studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalCritical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Prevalence
  • Scoping review
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sexual health
  • Sexuality
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Treatment


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