This systematic review aimed at assessing the associations between sexual health and subjective well-being in older age groups (i.e. people aged between 40 and ≥90 years).
A systematic search was conducted of the Web of Science, MEDLINE, EBSCO, Scopus, SciELO and LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature) databases for studies published until September 2021. Search strings included a combination of terms such as “sexual health” or “sexuality” and “well-being” and terms related to the measures that assess the constructs of interest. This systematic review followed PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Results were grouped into four categories that assess the interplay between sexual health and subjective well-being: cognitive and attitudinal factors, sexual behavior, sexual function and sexual satisfaction. The subjective well-being domains that were analyzed were life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, and psychological well-being.
A total of 15 quantitative studies were reviewed, of which 14 were articles and 1 was a doctoral dissertation. Findings suggest that living a fulfilling sexual life is an essential part of subjective well-being.
This review suggests that programs aiming to promote well-being in older age groups should also encourage a fulfilling sexual life.