Olivari, C., Di Cugno, M., & Caselli, G. (2023). Sexual dysfunctions and metacognitive beliefs: a PRISMA-compliant systematic review. – Sexual and Relationship Therapy. published online on 06 Sep 2023.


Sexual dysfunctions could lead individuals to experience severe impairments in health and everyday life; metacognition could play an important role in the development of sexual dysfunctions. This study aimed to synthesize evidence from studies investigating the associations between sexual dysfunctions and metacognitive beliefs. According to the PRISMA statement, literature analysis is conducted on PubMed, PsycInfo, PsycArticles, and Google Scholar. 837 participants from six studies were included; five articles were cross-sectional studies, and one was a randomized clinical trial. Individuals with sexual dysfunction adopt more metacognitive beliefs compared to the general population. The association between sexual dysfunctions and metacognitions did not show gender differences. Men with erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation show high negative metacognitive beliefs, cognitive self-consciousness, and need to control thoughts. Women with sexual dysfunctions show higher scores in negative metacognitive beliefs, cognitive self-consciousness, and need to control thoughts than the general population; the results also point out that metacognitive beliefs could have a greater influence on sexual dysfunctions than other variables such as painful symptoms. The present study has succeeded in highlighting metacognitive beliefs’ role in sexual dysfunctions and the potential benefits of MCT in dealing with these conditions.