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Sexual function and dysfunction among women with anorexia nervosa: A systematic scoping review

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DOI

  1. Comorbid mental disorders during long-term course in a nationwide cohort of patients with anorexia nervosa

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  2. Time trends in treatment modes of anorexia nervosa in a nationwide cohort with free and equal access to treatment

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  3. Increased lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in anorexia nervosa: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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  4. Grasping the weight cut-off for anorexia nervosa in children and adolescents

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  5. Clinicians' perspective on an app for patient self-monitoring in eating disorder treatment

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  1. Explanatory Factors for Disease-Specific Health-Related Quality of Life in Women with Anorexia Nervosa

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  2. Cognitive function in adults with enduring anorexia nervosa

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OBJECTIVE: Research suggests that a variety of biological and psychosocial factors are associated with the sexual health of women diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (AN). This systematic scoping review, conducted in accordance to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Guidelines, synthesizes the current literature concerning sexual function and dysfunction in women with AN.

METHOD: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and PsychInfo for literature published until April 2020. All study designs were eligible for inclusion, providing they focused on sexual function and dysfunction in women with AN. Studies that only included outcomes related to gender identity or sexual orientation were excluded.

RESULTS: N = 28 studies met criteria for inclusion in the review. All studies were conducted in Western countries and the majority employed either a cohort or cross-sectional design. Although measures of sexual function and dysfunction varied markedly across studies, most studies adopted a biopsychosocial framework. Libido may be linked to body mass index (BMI), while other aspects of sexual functioning and behavior might not be specifically associated with weight status. Limited data are available on evidence-based interventions.

DISCUSSION: Sexual dysfunction in women with AN is common. Although some of the variance is explained by low BMI, associated physiological sequelae and other psychosocial factors are also involved. Sexual dysfunction is a relevant clinical problem and clinicians should sensitively incorporate questions related to sexual function into their eating disorder assessments. Future research, using more robust designs and validated outcome measures, is needed to better understand causal pathways between the biological and psychosocial correlates of AN and sexual dysfunction. Identifying predictors of sexual function and dysfunction in more diverse groups of people with AN will support the development of evidence-based therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume53
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1377-1399
Number of pages23
ISSN0276-3478
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • anorexia nervosa, eating disorders, female sexual dysfunction, sexual functioning, systematic review

ID: 59960442