Associations between gynecologic clinician type and routine female sexual dysfunction screening

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of sexual medicine




female sexual dysfunction; gynecologic clinician type; screening; well-woman visits


BACKGROUND: Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a common problem in the United States; however, only 14% to 40% of women are screened by their health care clinicians. There are few data on how differences in clinician type affects screening rates. AIM: This study aimed to assess differences in FSD screening rates among gynecology clinician types, identify factors associated with screening, and compare screening rates of FSD against conditions with established screening recommendations. METHODS: Data were collected by retrospective chart review of annual visits at an urban tertiary care center. Screening rates for FSD, depression, cervical cancer, and breast cancer were calculated and compared. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was utilized to assess the correlation between various patient characteristics and FSD screening rates. OUTCOMES: Study outcome measures included percentages of women who were screened for FSD, depression, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. RESULTS: FSD screening rate was significantly higher among resident-level clinicians vs nonresident clinicians (59% vs 31%; P < .001). When the nonresident clinicians were subanalyzed, certified nursing midwives were the second most likely to screen for FSD (odds ratio [OR], 0.41), followed by nurse practitioners (OR, 0.29) and attending physicians (OR, 0.22). According to multivariable logistic regression techniques, 5 factors were associated with an increased likelihood of a patient being screened for FSD at an annual examination: patient seen by a resident physician rather than an attending physician, patient history of FSD, patient age ≥40 years, patient report of being sexually active at the time of visit, and patient history of cervical procedures. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: There is an opportunity to improve FSD screening rates by clinicians. Future research may assess what factors, such as increased sexual function education or greater incentives to document FSD screening, may result in higher screening rates. From this, targeted and effective interventions might be crafted to improve future screening rates. STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This study is one of the first to compare FSD screening rates among clinician types in the same specialty. Study limitations include the inherent limitations of a retrospective design, including selection biases. CONCLUSION: Residents were more likely to screen for FSD at annual well-woman visits than attending clinicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. Understanding the reasons for varied FSD screening rates among clinician types may aid in the development of strategies to improve screening for this important aspect of women's health.


Obstetrics and Gynecology