Sexual Dysfunction and Relationship Status in First Episode Psychosis

Dr. Morgan Glass

Morgan Glass is a final-year medical student at McMaster University. His current research projects examine sexual dysfunction and romantic relationship status in psychotic illness, as well as mental illness stigma in Canadian medical students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Appreciate the dearth of research on sexual dysfunction in first episode psychosis;
  2. Appreciate the importance of screening for sexual dysfunction in individuals with psychotic illness; and
  3. Consider importance of discussing romantic relationship functioning with patients with psychosis.


Background: Psychotic illness impacts many domains of functioning. In a chronic illness, the associations between illness and impairment can become very complex and may change over time. While there is a growing body of literature exploring sexual dysfunction in chronic schizophrenia, there have been few studies exploring this issue or its sequelae in first episode psychosis. The goal of this study is to assess the frequency of sexual dysfunction in subjects with first episode psychosis. We will also assess the association between sexual dysfunction and relationship status in these individuals and compare this to healthy controls.

Method: Sixty-five patients will be recruited from an early psychosis clinic in Calgary. An equivalent number of age-and-sex-matched controls will be recruited from the University of Calgary and local community. Participants will complete the validated 14-item Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ-14) and additional questions about recent romantic relationship history.

Results: Data collection began in January 2021 and is ongoing.

Discussion: Results will be discussed in terms of implications for our understanding of the etiologies of sexual dysfunction in psychotic illness. This research will contribute to a better understanding of sexual and romantic function in the early stage of psychotic illness.

Literature References:

Abbreviated Reference List:

  1. Keller A, McGarvey EL, Clayton AH. Reliability and Construct Validity of the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire ShortForm (CSFQ-14). J Sex Marital Ther [Internet]. 2006 Jan;32(1):43–52. Available from:
  2. Marques TR, Smith S, Bonaccorso S, Gaughran F, Kolliakou A, Dazzan P, et al. Sexual dysfunction in people with prodromal or first-episode psychosis. Br J Psychiatry [Internet]. 2012 Aug 2;201(2):131–6. Available from:

Complete Reference List:

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