Introduction. The effects of age and gender on sexual function have attracted much attention in recent years, though few studies have focused on this issue in Asian populations. Aims. The Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ) was used to: (i) assess the differences in sexual functioning between unmedicated outpatients with depressive disorders and healthy volunteers; and (ii) investigate the influences of gender and age on sexual functioning in both groups. Main Outcome Measures. The CSFQ was used to assess sexual dysfunction. Methods. Two groups of subjects, 73 unmedicated patients with depressive disorders and 116 healthy volunteers, were recruited to the study, and changes in their sexual function were assessed using the CSFQ. Subjects' global depressive level and psychiatric morbidity were assessed using the Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire (TDQ) and the Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ). Results. The depressed subjects had significantly lower total CSFQ scores than did the controls. A negative correlation between age and total CSFQ score was found in both genders of depressed patients. Age generally predicted the sum of the CSFQ scores for both genders in the depressed group after controlling for TDQ score; however, a positive correlation between age and total CSFQ score was identified in the female controls. We also found that the S-curve was the best-fit curve for both the male and female controls, the cut-off point for which was the age of 40. Conclusions. Our study confirmed that, as a screening tool for clinically significant sexual dysfunction, the CSFQ offered good sensitivity for both the healthy and depressed subjects. In addition, our findings suggested that age and gender differences should be taken into account when measuring sexual satisfaction. It is possible that the age of 40 could be an anchor point in sexual functioning for the female population of Taiwan.
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