The sexual and relationship needs of people who experience psychosis: quantitative findings of a UK study.
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. The first related to demographics, the second used relevant parts of the Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN) and the third looked at possible determinants of sexual behaviour. The CAN also captured keyworker responses to issues related to their clients sexual and relationship requirements. 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. Furthermore, most clients interviewed thought that their psychotropic medication caused sexual problems. Contrasts are made with other studies to help highlight the important issues that emerged for service users.