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On the sexology training in the psychiatry residence in Portugal

Dias-Amaral, A1; Covelo, V1; Barbosa, D.1; Mota, M1

1: Centro Hospitalar de São João, Portugal

Introduction and Aim: In Portugal, the Psychiatry Residence is organized in five years including mandatory internships and optional ones. While Addictions, Elderly and Forensic Psychiatry are now compulsory, Sexology is still optional. In 2000, Sansone wrote “[Psychiatry is] poised at the intersection of psychological and pharmacological perspectives of human sexuality” and Leino stated that “sexuality training for healthcare professionals is imperative”. Our aim is to evaluate the psychiatry residents’ perspective regarding the training in Sexology and to assess the importance of the discipline and what formation offers exist during the residency.

Material and Methods: We conducted an online survey sent to all the Portuguese Psychiatry trainees via the mailing list of the Portuguese Association of Psychiatry Residents.

Results: Portuguese hospitals home about 260 Psychiatry residents, from which 53 answered our survey (20,4%). 72,1% (n=36) were female and 27,9% (n=17) were male aged between 25 and 36 yo (mean age = 28,2). Most residents are working in general hospitals (88,4%, n=43 vs 11,6% (n=10) working in psychiatry hospitals) in the North (48,8%, n=26) and South (32,6%, n=19) of the country (the remaining 18,7%, n=13 are working in the Centre and Islands regions). The distribution by residency year goes as follows: 18,6% (n=10) in the first, 23,3% (n=12) in the second, 27,9% (n=14) in the third, 16,3% (n=9) in the fourth and 14% (n=8) in the fifth. Regarding the training in Sexology, most (56,6%, n=30) claim to have informal training in meetings on the theme or by personal studying. 18,9% (n=10) have been trained on a Sexology Consultation context and only 2 (3,8%) have formal training by national or international societies. 13 (n=24,5%) have absolutely no training in the field. However, 98,1% (n=52) claim Sexology is “important” or “very important” in their clinical practice. Only 49,0% (n=26) can correctly estimate the prevalence of female dysfunctions in general population while 60,4% (n=32) can correctly estimate the prevalence of male dysfunctions. 66,0% (n=35) of the participants think Sexology training should be compulsory.

Conclusion: The sample may not be representative of the studied population, and a selection bias may have occurred. In the sample, an unequivocal interest in Sexology is present and the Psychiatry Residence program may need to be reviewed in order to improve the training opportunities.


Work supported by industry: no.

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