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Keywords:

  • Erectile Dysfunction;
  • Treatment-Seeking Behavior;
  • Attitudes;
  • Beliefs;
  • Treatment

Conflict of Interest. Research funded by Bayer Inc. Drs. Nadel, Kaufman and Sand are employees of Bayer, Inc.

ABSTRACT

Objective.  The aim of Phase II of the Men's Attitudes to Life Events and Sexuality (MALES) Study is to explore PDE5 inhibitor treatment seeking among men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Methods.  Phase II of the MALES study involved 2912 men, aged 20–75 years, from 8 countries (U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil), who reported ED. Participants were recruited from the MALES Phase I sample [1] and via booster methods (e.g., physician referral, street interception), and completed self-report questionnaires concerning the characteristics of their ED, their efforts to seek PDE5 inhibitor treatment for their sexual dysfunction, and attitudinal and referent influences that potentially affect treatment-seeking. Statistical analyses focus on identification of correlates of PDE5 inhibitor treatment seeking.

Results.  PDE5 inhibitor utilization is strongly associated with ED sufferers’ assessment of the severity of their sexual dysfunction, with their belief that medication for ED is dangerous, and with their perceptions of whether physicians, other professionals, and spouses or family members are supportive of their seeking treatment. ED sufferers who evaluate their sexual dysfunction as severe, who believe that medication for ED is not dangerous, and who perceive support for treatment seeking from referent others, are more likely to utilize PDE5 inhibitor treatment.

Conclusion.  Findings indicate that perceived ED severity, beliefs about ED medication, and referent influences are strongly correlated with utilization of PDE5 inhibitor therapy. These findings aid our understanding of factors that may incline men with ED to seek—or to avoid—PDE5 inhibitor therapy for their sexual dysfunction, and provide a basis for clinical and educational interventions to assist men with ED to seek appropriate treatment.