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Keywords:

  • Erectile Dysfunction;
  • Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Continuous Medical Education;
  • Assessment or Evaluation of Educational Programs

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  The clear link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) together with the increased potential for effectively treating ED with oral pharmacological agents make the primary care setting the ideal place to detect and treat ED and its potential comorbidities. Given the observed shortcomings in knowledge related to ED among primary care physicians, continuous medical education (CME) on this topic stands out as a potentially effective way to improve patient care.

Aim.  To assess general practitioners' (GPs) knowledge, attitudes, and self-confidence about ED management and the relationship between ED and CVD and to test whether these can be improved by means of a brief training program.

Methods.  Eighty GPs completed two similar questionnaires on ED issues, one prior to a CME intervention and one following it. The CME program consisted of reading an annotated set of four review articles and six research articles followed by a live half-day seminar conducted by a GP, a urologist, and a cardiologist.

Main Outcome Measures.  Changes in the answers to the two questionnaires were evaluated by tests for matched pairs using both statistical significance and effect size estimates, and assessment of different predictors were evaluated by multivariate analysis.

Results.  A marked improvement was observed in physician knowledge, attitudes, and self-confidence with regard to diagnosing and treating ED following the CME training intervention.

Conclusions.  The present study shows that a relatively simple educational procedure can substantially improve the awareness of primary care physicians about the cardiovascular implications of ED and their self confidence in the management of these patients. Mas M, García-Giralda L, Rey JR, Martínez-Salamanca JI, Guirao L, and Turbí C. Evaluating a Continuous Medical Education (CME) program to improve general practitioners awareness and practice on erectile dysfunction as a cardiovascular risk factor. J Sex Med 2011;8:1585–1593.