Female sexual well-being scale™ (FSWB Scale™): Development and psychometric validation in sexually functional women

Raymond C. Rosen, Gloria A. Bachmann, Jennifer Barsky Reese, Louis Gentner, Sandra Leiblum, Charles Wajszczuk, Rita Wanser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction. No validated instrument exists for measuring female sexual well-being (FSWB™) in women without medical/psychosocial conditions. Aims. To develop and psychometrically validate a self-administered Female Sexual Well-Being Scale™ (FSWB Scale™) for assessing sexual well-being in sexually functional women. Methods. Important aspects of FSWB™ were identified via focus groups, debriefing interviews, and administration of an initial scale to 111 US women aged 21-72 years reporting normal sexual function (Female Sexual Function Index >26). Principal components analysis and psychometric validity testing of a FSWB Scale™ were conducted in a second study of 332 women. Main Outcome Measures. To develop a FSWB Scale, based on qualitative input from women reporting normal sexual function, and determine its factor structure and psychometric validity. Results. Four aspects of FSWB were identified from the qualitative research. Women's preferred language to describe sexual well-being and preferred response formats were incorporated into the scale. A principle components analysis of quantitative study data from 332 women aged 21-72 years reporting normal sexual function identified 5 factors with eigenvalues >1: interpersonal domain (6 items), cognitive-emotional domain (5 items), physical arousal domain (3 items), orgasm-satisfaction domain (3 items), and external lubrication domain (2 items). The external lubrication domain did not demonstrate strong positive correlations with the other 4 domains, so it was not retained in the final scale. A high degree of internal consistency was demonstrated for the 4 domains (Cronbach's alpha values: 0.84-0.92). Test-retest reliability over a 2-week period was high (r > 0.80) or moderately high (r > 0.70) for the 4 domain scores. Correlation coefficients between FSWB Scale domain scores and standardized scale scores for female sexual function, depression, and social desirability demonstrated the construct validity of the FSWB Scale. Conclusion. A 17-item FSWB Scale was developed and psychometrically validated as a reliable, multidimensional, self-administered instrument for assessing sexual well-being in women of different ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1305
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Female sexual well-being
  • Psychometric validation
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology


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