Assessment methods and management of hypersexuality and paraphilic disorders
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The recent implementation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition introduced some important changes in the conceptualization of hypersexuality and paraphilic disorders. The destigmatization of nonnormative sexual behaviors could be viewed as positive, However, other changes are more controversial. In order to stimulate new research approaches and provide mental healthcare providers with appropriate treatment regimes, validated assessment and treatment methods are needed. The purpose of this article is to review the studies published between January 2013 and July 2014 that aimed at assessing the psychometric properties of the currently applied assessment instruments and treatment approaches for hypersexuality and hypersexual disorders or paraphilias and paraphilic disorder. RECENT FINDINGS: Currently existing instruments can validly assess hypersexual behaviors in different populations (e.g. college students, gay and bisexual men, and patients with neurodegenerative disorders) and cultural backgrounds (e.g. Germany, Spain, and USA). Concerning the assessment of paraphilias, it was shown that combining different assessment methods show a better performance in distinguishing between patients with paraphilias and control groups. In addition to psychotherapeutic treatment, pharmacological agents aiming at a reduction of serum testosterone levels are used for hypersexual behaviors as well as paraphilic disorders. SUMMARY: Although the currently applied assessment and treatment methods seem to perform quite well, more research about the assessment and evidence-based treatment is needed. This would help to overcome the existing unresolved issues concerning the conceptualization of hypersexual and paraphilic disorders.
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