Introduction. Male sexual dysfunction is a common medical condition, which is addressed mainly from a biomedical perspective by Swiss general practitioners (GPs) and urologists as the results of part I of our study showed. A psychosocial orientation in sexual history taking (SHT) leads to a truly patient-centered approach and is crucial for improving therapy decisions related to sexual dysfunction.
Aim. To analyze to what extent Swiss GPs and urologists have a psychosocial orientation in SHT, and what therapeutic options they focus on when confronted with male sexual dysfunction.
Methods. A semistructured interview was developed and used in face-to-face encounters with 25 GPs and 25 urologists.
Main Outcome Measures. Content and frequency of interview responses.
Results. The GPs and urologists differed significantly from each other in 5 out of 22 psychosocial factors. Summarizing these psychosocial factors in four domains showed a difference between the GPs and urologists in only one domain. Both groups focus on an open conversation as their approach in SHT. No GP and only a minority of urologists based their diagnosis on criteria of the International Classification of Diseases (10th edition) (ICD-10) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) (DSM-IV). The GPs and urologists differed significantly from each other in 4 out of 16 combinations resulting from the given therapeutic options and form of sexual dysfunction. The urologists focus more strongly on medication as a therapeutic option.
Conclusions. The results of part II additionally justify establishing guidelines and training resources related to SHT in Switzerland. Swiss physicians should be encouraged to apply a more psychosocial orientation in SHT. This will contribute to a better patient-centered approach with positive consequences on physicians’ therapeutic decisions. Optimizing the approach in SHT and the choice of therapeutic options may better facilitate real sexual satisfaction for the patient and ultimately result in fewer health insurance costs. Platano G, Margraf J, Alder J, and Bitzer J. Psychosocial factors and therapeutic approaches in the context of sexual history taking in men: A study conducted among Swiss general practitioners and urologists. J Sex Med 2008;5:2533–2556.