What is it about?

Few studies have investigated the experiences of people regarding sexual and relationship issues in the area of mental health. This study presents the quantitative findings of a larger study that was conducted in London, UK. The aims of the study were to establish client's sexual and relationship experiences and perceived needs. A total of 30 people with a medical diagnosis of schizophrenia, living in the community, were interviewed using three questionnaires.

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Why is it important?

The results showed that 83% of the clients were currently experiencing sexual feelings. Some 90% of clients felt some need in relation to sexual expression and 83% for needs related to intimate relationships. Only 10% of staff recognized sexual expression as a need in clients in their care and 43% perceived a need for intimate relationships.


There remains a distinct lack of studies exist that explore sexual and relationship issues. The study captures important experiences of people who use mental health services. It reveals potential obstacles to the expression of sexuality and identifies a diversity of needs. It presents issues that may guide mental health practice, education and research.

Dr Edward McCann
City, University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The sexual and relationship needs of people who experience psychosis: quantitative findings of a UK study, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, May 2010, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01522.x.
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