Cognitive-behavioral therapy for women with lifelong vaginismus: a randomized waiting-list controlled trial of efficacy

J.J.D.M. van Lankveld*, M.M. ter Kuile, H.E. de Groot, R. Melles, J. Nefs, M. Zandbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Women with lifelong vaginismus (N=117) were randomly assigned to cognitive-behavioral group therapy, cognitive-behavioral bibliotherapy, or a waiting list. Manualized treatment comprised sexual education, relaxation exercises, gradual exposure, cognitive therapy, and sensate focus therapy. Group therapy consisted of ten 2-hr sessions with 6 to 9 participants per group. Assistance with minimal-contact bibliotherapy consisted of 6 biweekly, 15-min telephone contacts. Twenty-one percent of the participants left the study before posttreatment assessment. Intent-to-treat analysis revealed that successful intercourse at posttreatment was reported by 14% of the treated participants compared with none of the participants in the control condition. At the 12-month follow-up 21% of the group therapy participants and 15% of the bibliotherapy participants, respectively, reported successful intercourse. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of lifelong vaginismus was thus found to be efficacious, but the small effect size of the treatment warrants future efforts to improve the treatment. APA, all rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-78
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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