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Factors Influencing Distress Toward Erectile Dysfunction and Attitude Toward Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Among Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese Women and Men in Hong Kong


Chan Ching Mario Liong, PhD, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Umeå University, Umeå 90187, Sweden. Tel: (+46)090-786-5957; Fax: (+46)090-786-9710; E-mail:


Aim.  This study aims to explain distress toward erectile dysfunction (ED), attitude toward ED drugs, and experiences with ED drug use in terms of sexual attitudes, relationship satisfaction, and sociodemographic factors among the middle-aged and elderly Chinese population. Studies show that a significant number of middle-aged and elderly men in Asia suffer from ED. However, people's attitudes toward ED drugs are not positive. Few studies have sought to reveal the influencing factors of this negative attitude.

Methods.  Nine hundred forty-six Hong Kong women and men aged 36–80 with stable partners were administered a structured questionnaire through face-to-face street-intercept survey. Self-reporting on single-item questions using a five-point Likert scale was adopted for most of the variables, including attitude toward sex, relationship satisfaction, distress toward ED, and attitude toward ED drugs. Perceived importance of sex in an intimate relationship and attitude toward sex were assessed through three items. Respondents were asked to report whether they had taken ED drugs or bought ED drugs for their partners.

Results.  While perceived importance of sex in an intimate relationship and distress toward ED both contributed to the estimation of attitudes toward ED drugs for both genders, relationship satisfaction was only associated with men's attitude, while women's attitude was related to two other factors: relationship status and income level. Both age and attitude toward ED drugs influenced experiences with ED drug use for women and men. Men's experience with ED drug use was further related to the perceived importance of sex and to men's self-esteem and relationship status.

Conclusion.  Results of this study could help identify people who are disturbed by ED but reluctant to seek treatment. Clinicians and public health policy makers could make use of the findings to encourage proper understanding of ED. Liong CCM. Factors influencing distress toward erectile dysfunction and attitude toward erectile dysfunction drugs among middle-aged and elderly Chinese women and men in Hong Kong. J Sex Med 2013;10:782–790.