Data Assessment Tools for Sexual Function

There is no one measurement tool that adequately assesses the complex issue of sexual health and satisfaction after SCI (Abramson et al. 2008). For an assessment to be comprehensive, neurological basis for sexual health dysfunction are necessary. Visit our Outcome Measures page for a list of measures validated for SCI in sexual health.

The international community of SCI experts have collaborated to develop a number of ‘gold standard’ resources/assessments in order to facilitate better care in SCI. Three of the most important developments with regards to sexual health include:

  1. The International Standards of Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) is a comprehensive assessment of motor function and sensation that is available after SCI. The ISNCSCI is important not only to determine the level of injury and completeness, but to provide estimation of sexual functioning based on these findings. Visit our Outcome Measures page for complete information on the ISNCSCI, how to administer, and statistical properties.
  2. The International Standards to Document of Remaining Autonomic Function After SCI (ISAFSCI) (Krassioukov et al. 2012) was designed to describe the diagnosis (supraconal, conal or cauda equina) of the spinal cord lesion and to document the impact of the injury on the components of autonomic response, including sexual response. The patient’s ability to experience arousal, orgasm, ejaculation (male) or sensation of menses (female) are rated on a scale of 0 (no function), 1 (impaired function) or 2 (normal). If a patient is not experiencing these sexual functions (based on the level and completeness of his/her injury) the clinician should investigate factors which may be interfering, e.g., medication or spasticity.
  3. The International SCI Male Sexual Function Basic Data Set and The International SCI Female Sexual and Reproductive Function Basic Data Set.
    These data sets are agreed upon as measures/indicators that both clinicians and researchers would need regarding SCI and Sexual Health. They are meant to establish a standard of data collection/clinical intake that is valid anywhere in the world.