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Anti-libidinal medication and people with disabilities : long-term follow-up outcomes following third party consent to medication for problematic sexual behaviour

Abstract

This is a report on a project partially funded by the Criminology Research Council. The original title of the research project, in the name of Associate Professor Susan Hayes, University of Sydney, was 'Anti-libidinal medication and men with disabilities: a long term follow-up of outcomes following third party consent'. The research aimed to assess long term outcomes for and characteristics of individuals with an intellectual or other cognitive disability who exhibited problematic sexual behaviour and who had been prescribed anti-libidinal medication, either hormonal or anti-psychotic medication, specifically to address their sexual behaviours. A total of 38 participants (35 males and 3 females) were included in the study. Those who had been prescribed anti-libidinal medication to address problematic sexual behaviour were compared with participants who showed problematic sexual behaviour but had not been prescribed anti-libidinal medication, and also with a sub-group who had committed non-sexual offences against other people. A major finding of the research was that individuals with cognitive disabilities who were receiving anti-libidinal medication were similar on most variables to those who were not receiving anti-libidinal medication or any medication at all, and also to those who had committed non-sexual offences against other people. Significant differences were found between the anti-libidinal medication group and other participants for presence of delusions/hallucinations, and personality disorder. Apart from these psychiatric symptoms, there are no findings from the data that suggest that those who were prescribed anti-libidinal medication were more violent, aggressive or dangerous than the comparison groups. Appropriate interventions must address the person's environment (including their own safety from abuse) and incorporate a broad-based assessment of psychiatric symptoms and socio-sexual behaviour by a multi-disciplinary team, assessment of the impact of other medications and implementation of other interventions to address empathy, communication skills and adaptive behaviours.

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