Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Center, Nursing and Midwifery School, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Center, Aging Research Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


INTRODUCTION: Since routine counseling does not suffice to resolve the sexual problems at
postpartum period, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of counseling based on the
Ex‑PLISSIT model on sexual function and marital satisfaction of postpartum women.
METHODS: This was a randomized controlled clinical trial that was conducted on 68 postpartum
women (within 3–6 months after childbirth) who obtained a score <28 on the Female Sexual Function
Index (FSFI). The participants were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups.
Participants in the intervention group received counseling based on the Ex‑PLISSIT model and those
in the control group received the routine postpartum care. The required data were collected using a
demographics form, the FSFI, and the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale. The primary outcomes were
the mean function and martial satisfaction score of participants 4 and 8 weeks after the intervention.
RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of sexual
function at baseline (P = 0.381), but it was significantly higher in the intervention group than control
group after intervention (the adjusted MD: 4.24, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.18–5.29, P < 0.001).
There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in marital satisfaction before
the intervention (P = 0.433), but it increased significantly in the intervention group in comparison to
control after intervention (adjusted MD: 23.17, 95% CI: 15.10–31.24, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggested that sexual counseling based on the Ex‑PLISSIT
model can improve the sexual function and increase marital satisfaction of postpartum women.


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