Psychosexual Dysfunction in the Elderly

Susan H. Spence*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


The area of psychosexual dysfunction in the elderly has been relatively ignored and very little research has been conducted into the aetiology, assessment, and treatment of such disorders. Many negative attitudes have been held traditionally relating to the sexual behaviour of older people, and this may account for the reluctance of many elderly clients to seek help, and for the lack of attention paid by helping professionals. The number of referrals for sex therapy from older persons is now beginning to increase, and evidence confirms that the majority of healthy older persons remain sexually active and sexually capable throughout their later years. Although there is a marked lack of empirical research, case studies suggest that cognitive-behavioural approaches offer promise in the treatment of psychosexual dysfunction in the elderly. Factors are discussed that relate specifically to older clients in the application of a cognitive-behavioural approach to assessment and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalBehaviour Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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