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The importance of communication between doctor and patient in the management of Erectile dysfunction – a clinical study of 120 cases

Amri, M1; Ben Khalifa, B1; Ati, N2; Maatouk, H3; Saadi, H1; Lahwar, R1; Naouar, S1; Salem, B1; Elkamel, R1

1: Ibn El Jazzar Teaching Hospital of Kairouan , Tunisia; 2: Taher Sfar Teaching Hospital of Mahdia , Mahdia; 3: Fattouma Bourguiba Teaching Hospital of Monastir , Monastir

Objective: The main goal of this study was to identify the importance of doctor-patient communication in the management of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Methods: We conducted a transversal study in the Urology department of Ibn El Jazzar Teaching Hospital of Kairouan among 120 elderly patients consulting for lower tract symptoms without avoiding ED and fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of Klaibya (ED) as per the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).

Results: Baseline average age of the 120 men in the analysis sample was 68.6 years (range 60 to 84). 83.3% of the men were married and 80% of them are maintaining a sexual activity with an average frequency of 1.2 intercourses per week (0.7-1.6/week). All the patients are suffering from sexual dysfunction and 17.5 % of them had chronicity above 3 years. 32.5% were educated up to the higher secondary and 60% were living in urban areas. Diabetes (35.8%), high blood pressure (20%), high cholesterol (15%), peripheral vascular disorder (7.5%) and smoking (55%) were significantly associated with erectile dysfunction. Recorded disorders include lack of rigidity (91.66%), lack of erection (56.66%), lack of rigidity till completion of sexual act (11.66%), lack of erection till the completion of sexual act (8.33%) and no erection at all (7.5%). 75 % reported that the primary reason for not approaching their ED was that the problem is too sensitive or embarrassing. 15.8% of patients believe that the problem was temporary and it was not a medical problem. The other reason was that 9.1 % of men are frequently accompanied by partners or relatives to consultations. 75% of men revealed that their doctors don’t approach this subject with them. 56.66% of them would rather that physician has approached the subject, and the other patients think that it’s not important and even taboo to talk about sexuality, mostly due to their religious and social considerations.

Conclusion: Erectile dysfunction is a common and clinically neglected sexual problem. Communication barriers between patients and physicians are one of the main reasons for a low report rate of this sexual dysfunction. Our Study shows the lack of patient-physician communication about sexual health and its important impact on the quality of life.



Work supported by industry: no.

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