Validation of the profile of female sexual function (PFSF) in surgically and naturally menopausal women

Leonard Derogatis, John Rust, Susan Golombok, Celine Bouchard, Lila Nachtigall, Cynthia Rodenberg, James Kuznicki, Colleen A McHorney
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 2004, 30 (1): 25-36
The Profile of Female Sexual Function (PFSF) is a patient-based instrument for the measuring of loss of sexual function in menopausal women with low libido (hypoactive female sexual desire disorder). The instrument, which contains 37 items in seven domains (sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, sexual pleasure, sexual concerns, sexual responsiveness, and sexual self-image) and a single-item measure of overall satisfaction with sexuality, has been extensively developed and initially validated in over 500 oophorectomized women with low libido in North America, Europe, and Australia. Initial validation results showed the PFSF is capable of discriminating these patients from age-matched controls and produced consistent responses and sensitivity across geographies. The objective of this nonrandomized, parallel-group study was to examine the psychometric properties of the final PFSF in an independent group of surgically menopausal women with low libido and to extend validation to naturally menopausal women with low libido. Participants from 16 study centers in North America included surgically (n = 59) and naturally (n = 88) menopausal women with low libido and their age-matched control subjects, both premenopausal (n = 57) and naturally menopausal (n = 47), who reported no problems with libido. Subjects completed the PFSF at baseline and again 4 weeks later. Adjusted mean scores for each of the seven domains were statistically significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in surgically menopausal women with low libido compared with age-matched control women, and in naturally menopausal women with low libido compared with naturally menopausal control women, demonstrating excellent discriminant validity. Test-retest reliability ranged from 0.57 to 0.91 for the seven domain scores, whereas internal-consistency reliability ranged from 0.74 to 0.95. Results of this research support the conclusion that the PFSF is a valid and reliable instrument for measurement of loss of sexual function in both naturally and surgically menopausal women with low libido.

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