What is it about?

The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the best available qualitative evidence on the experiences and support needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) regarding sexuality and intimacy within hospital and community settings.

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Why is it important?

The review explored intimate relationship experiences of people with SMI, to uncover potential obstacles to the expression of sexuality and to present recommendations for mental health policy, education, research and practice.


Mental health services worldwide have seen major transformations in recent years through deinstitutionalization programmes and more enlightened ways of organizing and providing mental health care. However, in terms of social and emotional well-being, issues persist for people with SMI, particularly related to intimacy and the expression of sexuality. This systematic review may assist service providers to determine ways that they may better support people in establishing and maintaining satisfying intimate relationships and the full expression of their sexuality.

Dr Edward McCann
City, University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sexuality and intimacy among people with serious mental illness, The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, January 2019, Wolters Kluwer Health,
DOI: 10.11124/jbisrir-2017-003824.
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