Introduction. The optimal approach for identification and evaluation of the sexual problems in men and women in primary care or general medicine practice has not been consensed.
Aim. To provide recommendations/guidelines concerning state-of-the-art knowledge for clinical evaluation and management strategies in the evaluation and treatment of sexual dysfunction in men and women, emphasizing evidence-based medicine and a patient-centered framework.
Methods. An International Consultation in collaboration with the major urology and sexual medicine associations assembled over 200 multidisciplinary experts from 60 countries into 17 committees. Committee members established specific objectives and scopes for various male and female sexual medicine topics. The recommendations concerning state-of-the-art knowledge in the respective sexual medicine topic represent the opinion of experts from five continents developed in a process over a 2-year period. Concerning the Clinical Evaluation and Management Strategies Committee, there were 12 experts from five countries.
Main Outcome Measure. Expert opinion was based on grading of evidence-based medical literature, widespread internal committee discussion, public presentation and debate.
Results. Three concepts underlie sexual medicine management: (i) adoption of a patient-centered framework for evaluation and treatment; (ii) application of the principles of evidence-based medicine in diagnostic and treatment planning; and (iii) use of a unified management approach in men and women. When taken together, these three principles provide a balanced and integrated approach to sexual dysfunction management. Common algorithms for diagnosis and management of men and women with sexual dysfunction, brief sexual symptom checklists, basics in history and physical examination, indications for specialized referral and development of a follow-up strategy are presented.
Conclusions. More research is needed in understanding the role of evidence-based and patient-centered medicine in the clinical evaluation and management strategies of men and women with sexual dysfunction.