Anti-libidinal medication and men with disabilities: a long term follow-up of outcomes following third party consent

Criminology Research Council grant ; (38/00-01)

The general aim of the research was to gather information about 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 in 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.