Problems in sexual functioning among male OEF/OIF veterans seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress

Christal L. Badour, Daniel F. Gros, Derek D. Szafranski, Ron Acierno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective Few studies have examined sexual dysfunction among Operations Enduring/Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study investigated predictors of erectile dysfunction [ED] and self-reported sexual problems among 150 male combat veterans seeking outpatient treatment for PTSD within the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Method Participants completed clinical interviews and several questionnaires including measures of sexual arousal and sexual desire. A medical records review was also conducted to document evidence of an ED diagnosis or associated medication use. Results An ED diagnosis was present for 12% of the sample, and 10% were taking associated medications. Sexual arousal problems were reported by sixty-two percent of partnered veterans. Sexual desire problems were endorsed by 63% of the total sample, and by 72% of partnered veterans. Age was the only significant predictor of ED diagnosis or medication use. Age, race, PTSD diagnosis (versus subclinical symptoms), depression, and social support predicted self-reported sexual arousal problems; while race, combat exposure, social support, and avoidance/numbing symptoms of PTSD predicted self-reported sexual desire problems. Conclusions Sexual problems are common among male OEF/OIF combat veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. Moreover, avoidance/numbing symptoms robustly predicted sexual desire problems. These findings highlight the importance of expanding assessment of sexual dysfunction and support the need for additional research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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