Internet-based guided self-help for genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder: preliminary results of a randomised controlled trial

  • A. Zarski
  • M. Berking
  • D.D. Ebert


Background: Difficulties or the impossibility of sexual intercourse in GPPPD despite the woman´s wish to do so can cause huge personal and relational burden. One of the primary characteristics is the fear of penetration or of the pain associated with penetration. Between 6% and 54% of women with genital pain symptoms seek treatment. Treatment opportunities, however, are scarce. To the best of our knowledge, no intervention for GPPPD so far has been evaluated in an RCT. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of an internet-based guided self-help intervention for GPPPD. Method: A total of 200 women with GPPPD will be randomly allocated to the intervention or the waiting control group. The intervention comprises eight modules consisting of psychoeducation, relaxation exercises, sensate focus and systematic desensitisation via dilator insertion exercises. Participants have the opportunity to request automatic text messages on their mobile phone along with the intervention and receive written feedback on every completed session from an e-coach. The primary outcome is sexual intercourse (PEQ). Secondary outcomes are e.g. fear of coitus, penetration cognitions, sexual functioning and general well-being. Web-based self-report assessments for both groups are scheduled at baseline, 10 weeks, and 6 months. So far, n=82 women have been randomised. Findings: in progress
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