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Sexual Satisfaction Scale (SSS)
Freely available as part of the MSQLI and on the NMSS website: Please Click Here for Sexual Satisfaction Scale
Supplemental: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Sexuality
Generic vs. disease specific: Generic
Means of administration: Interview
Intended respondent: Patient
#of items: 4
# of subscales and names of sub-scales: N/A
# of items per sub-scale: N/A
Comments/Special Instructions
Scoring: The total score for the SSS is the sum of the scores for the 4 items.
Background: The SSS is based on the Sexual History Form (Nowinski& LoPiccolo, 1979). Four items from the Sexual History Form were selected to provide an indicator of overall sexual adjustment. These items address the degree of satisfaction with physically expressing affection; the variety of sexual activities engaged in; and the sexual relationship in general. The fourth item addresses the perceived level of satisfaction experienced by the partner within the relationship. The SSS was designed to provide a very brief assessment of sexual satisfaction within the context of a comprehensive quality of life inventory, as one of the components of the MSQLI. As such, the SSS may not be suitable for use in studies that are specifically focused on sexuality and intimacy.
Strengths/ Weaknesses: The SSS is easy to administer and focuses on fairly general themes concerning sexuality. It does not go into detail concerning the specifics of sexual activities or problems. Owing to the sensitive nature of the questions composing the SSS, respondents may avoid answering one or more items. Users of the scale may therefore want to check for missing items while the respondent is still present and ascertain whether these missing items can be completed. In addition, patients may need reassurance of the confidential way in which this information will be handled.
Psychometric Properties: The SSS has a Cronbach's alpha of .91 [MSQLI field test population]. The straightforward nature of the items making up the SSS give it good face validity. Other evidence for the validity of the SSS is limited. In the original field testing of the MSQLI of whichh it is a part, the SSS showed only weak correlations with variables such as social support, social functioning, and social interaction.
Administration:  Administration time is approximately 2–3 minutes.  The SSS is a structured, self-report questionnaire that the patient can generally complete with little or no intervention from an interviewer. However, patients with visual or upper extremity impairments may need to have the SSS administered as an interview. Interviewers should be trained in basic interviewing skills and in the use of this instrument.
Nowinski, J. K., & LoPiccolo, J. (1979). Assessing sexual behavior in couples. J Sex Marital Ther, 5(3), 225–243. doi: 10.1080/00926237908403731
Other References:
Ritvo, P. G., Fischer, J. S., Miller, D. M., Andrews, H., Paty, D. W.,& LaRocca, N. G. (1997). MSQLI: Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory: A User's Manual. New York: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, pp. 4–5.