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Treatment-Seeking Behavior of Erectile Dysfunction Patients in Europe: Results of the Erectile Dysfunction Observational Study


Josep Maria Haro, MD, PhD, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Santa Rosa, 39-57 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. Tel: (93) 600-9751; Fax: (93) 600-9771; E-mail:


Introduction.  The Erectile Dysfunction Observational Study (EDOS) is a 6-month, pan-European prospective, observational study of health outcomes designed to assess patients’ profiles and characteristics and the effectiveness of erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment in routine clinical practice

Aim.  To present baseline characteristics and treatment-seeking behavior of a large sample of ED patients recruited in real-life clinical settings.

Methods.  Men aged 18 years and older who visited a physician to initiate or change any ED treatment were enrolled in EDOS. They were assessed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months as part of their normal course of care in nine European countries.

Main Outcome Measures.  Sexual health outcomes using the short form of the Psychological and Interpersonal Relationship Scales. Treatment effectiveness and satisfaction were assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire, Global Assessment Questions, and further single-item questions.

Results.  Of the 8,186 patients enrolled by 904 investigators (69% general practitioners [GPs]) across nine European countries, 8,055 patients were eligible for analysis at baseline; 63.9% were ED treatment-naive. Of the total patient population, mean age was 56.5 years, mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.2 kg/m2, 18.3% were obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2), 42.5% had severe ED, and there was a high frequency of comorbidities and concomitant medication use. A similar proportion of the treatment-naive patients were seen by GPs (62.9%) and specialists (65.8%). In the treatment-naive group, there was a higher frequency of severe ED among ex-smokers, obese patients, and in those who drank no alcohol or excessive amounts of alcohol.

Conclusions.  Unmet need of treatment in ED is high; 66% of patients had experienced ED symptoms for 1 year or longer when they were looking for treatment. Severity seems to be related to treatment seeking. Haro JM, Beardsworth A, Casariego J, Gavart S, Hatzichristou D, Martin-Morales A, Schmitt H, Mirone V, Needs N, Riley A, Varanese L, von Keitz A, and Kontodimas S. Treatment-seeking behavior of erectile dysfunction patients in Europe: Results of the Erectile Dysfunction Observational Study. J Sex Med 2006;3:530–540.

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