Title: Therapist-aided exposure for women with lifelong vaginismus: A replicated single-case design
Authors: ter Kuile, Moniek M. ×
Bulté, Isis
Weijenborg, Philomeen T.M.
Beekman, Aart
Melles, Reinhilde
Onghena, Patrick #
Issue Date: Jan-2009
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Series Title: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology vol:77 issue:1 pages:149-159
Abstract: Vaginismus is commonly described as a persistent difficulty in allowing vaginal entry of a penis or other object. Lifelong vaginismus occurs when a woman has never been able to have intercourse. A replicated single-case A-B–phase design was used to investigate the effectiveness of therapist-aided exposure for lifelong vaginismus. A baseline period (Phase A) was contrasted with exposure  follow-up (Phase B), using random switching between phases. The main outcome measure (intercourse ability) was assessed
daily for 24 weeks. Ten women participated. The exposure consisted of a maximum of three 2-hr sessions during 1 week at a university hospital. The participant performed vaginal penetration exercises on herself, in the presence of a female therapist. Two follow-up sessions were scheduled over a 5-week period. Nine of the 10 participants reported having intercourse after treatment, and in 5 of the 9, intercourse was possible within the 1st week of treatment. The results remained at 1-year follow-up. Furthermore,
exposure was successful in decreasing fear and negative penetration beliefs posttreatment and at 3-month and 1-year follow-ups. Therapist-aided exposure appears to be an effective treatment for lifelong vaginismus.
ISSN: 0022-006X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Methodology of Educational Sciences
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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