Establishing dimensionality of sexual behaviours in patients with regional brain dysfunction

Robert A. Fieo, Hannah Silverman, Deirdre O’Shea, Masood Manoochehri, Jordan Grafman, Edward D. Huey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop a validated, caregiver-based measurement scale to assess sexual changes across several domains in a sample of 86 patients with penetrating traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 65 patients with neurodegeneration due to frontotemporal dementia and corticobasal syndrome. Methods: A new measure, the Sexual Symptoms in Neurological Illness and Injury Questionnaire (SNIQ), was constructed. Dimensionality, monotonicity, item discrimination power, and scalability were evaluated using nonparametric Mokken item response theory (IRT) methodology. Results: Three primary domains were established. The domains presented with sufficient reliability (rho.70 to.80), while meeting the Mokken IRT criteria of medium scalability. The domains were labeled ‘Prosocial sexual behaviour’ (H = .42), ‘Sexual interest’ (H = .50), and ‘Inappropriate sexual behaviour’ (H = .41). A fourth dimension emerged, ‘Detachment’ (H = .47), but with very few items. Conclusions: Construct validity was established for groups of items pertaining to three unique aspects of sexuality. These findings support further use of the SNIQ in assessing and researching sexual behaviours in patients with dementia and brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1464
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018


  • Inhibition
  • brain injury
  • construct validity
  • dementia
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

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