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      Toward a new ‘EPOCH’: optimising treatment outcomes with phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction

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          Despite the marked adverse impacts of erectile dysfunction (ED) on quality of life and well-being, many patients (and/or their partners) do not seek medical attention for this problem, do not receive treatment or discontinue such treatment even when it has effectively restored erectile responses to sexual stimulation. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors are considered first-line therapies for men with ED. To help physicians maximise the likelihood of treatment success with these agents, we conducted an English-language PubMed search of articles involving approved PDE5 inhibitors dating from 1 January 1998 (the year in which sildenafil citrate was introduced), through 31 August 2008. In addition to sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil, search terms included ‘adhere*’, ‘couple*’, ‘effect*’, ‘effic*’, ‘partner*’, ‘satisf*’, ‘succe*’ and ‘treatment outcome.’ Based on our analysis, physician activities to promote favourable treatment outcomes may be captured under the mnemonic ‘EPOCH’: (i) Evaluating and educating patients and partners to ensure realistic expectations of therapy; (ii) Prescribing a treatment individualised to the couple’s lifestyle needs and other preferences; (iii) Optimising treatment outcomes by scheduling follow-up visits with the patient to ‘fine-tune’ dosages and revisit key educational messages; (iv) Controlling comorbidities via lifestyle counselling, medications and/or referrals and (v) Helping patients and their partners to meet their health and psychosocial needs, potentially referring them to a specialist for other forms of therapy if they are not satisfied with PDE5 inhibitors.

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          Most cited references 194

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          The international index of erectile function (IIEF): a multidimensional scale for assessment of erectile dysfunction.

          To develop a brief, reliable, self-administered measure of erectile function that is cross-culturally valid and psychometrically sound, with the sensitivity and specificity for detecting treatment-related changes in patients with erectile dysfunction. Relevant domains of sexual function across various cultures were identified via a literature search of existing questionnaires and interviews of male patients with erectile dysfunction and of their partners. An initial questionnaire was administered to patients with erectile dysfunction, with results reviewed by an international panel of experts. Following linguistic validation in 10 languages, the final 15-item questionnaire, the international index of Erectile Function (IIEF), was examined for sensitivity, specificity, reliability (internal consistency and test-retest repeatability), and construct (concurrent, convergent, and discriminant) validity. A principal components analysis identified five factors (that is, erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction) with eigenvalues greater than 1.0. A high degree of internal consistency was observed for each of the five domains and for the total scale (Cronbach's alpha values of 0.73 and higher and 0.91 and higher, respectively) in the populations studied. Test-retest repeatability correlation coefficients for the five domain scores were highly significant. The IIEF demonstrated adequate construct validity, and all five domains showed a high degree of sensitivity and specificity to the effects of treatment. Significant (P values = 0.0001) changes between baseline and post-treatment scores were observed across all five domains in the treatment responder cohort, but not in the treatment nonresponder cohort. The IIEF addresses the relevant domains of male sexual function (that is, erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction), is psychometrically sound, and has been linguistically validated in 10 languages. This questionnaire is readily self-administered in research or clinical settings. The IIEF demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity for detecting treatment-related changes in patients with erectile dysfunction.
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            A study of sexuality and health among older adults in the United States.

            Despite the aging of the population, little is known about the sexual behaviors and sexual function of older people. We report the prevalence of sexual activity, behaviors, and problems in a national probability sample of 3005 U.S. adults (1550 women and 1455 men) 57 to 85 years of age, and we describe the association of these variables with age and health status. The unweighted survey response rate for this probability sample was 74.8%, and the weighted response rate was 75.5%. The prevalence of sexual activity declined with age (73% among respondents who were 57 to 64 years of age, 53% among respondents who were 65 to 74 years of age, and 26% among respondents who were 75 to 85 years of age); women were significantly less likely than men at all ages to report sexual activity. Among respondents who were sexually active, about half of both men and women reported at least one bothersome sexual problem. The most prevalent sexual problems among women were low desire (43%), difficulty with vaginal lubrication (39%), and inability to climax (34%). Among men, the most prevalent sexual problems were erectile difficulties (37%). Fourteen percent of all men reported using medication or supplements to improve sexual function. Men and women who rated their health as being poor were less likely to be sexually active and, among respondents who were sexually active, were more likely to report sexual problems. A total of 38% of men and 22% of women reported having discussed sex with a physician since the age of 50 years. Many older adults are sexually active. Women are less likely than men to have a spousal or other intimate relationship and to be sexually active. Sexual problems are frequent among older adults, but these problems are infrequently discussed with physicians. Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.

              We provide current, normative data on the prevalence of impotence, and its physiological and psychosocial correlates in a general population using results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study was a community based, random sample observational survey of noninstitutionalized men 40 to 70 years old conducted from 1987 to 1989 in cities and towns near Boston, Massachusetts. Blood samples, physiological measures, socio-demographic variables, psychological indexes, and information on health status, medications, smoking and lifestyle were collected by trained interviewers in the subject's home. A self-administered sexual activity questionnaire was used to characterize erectile potency. The combined prevalence of minimal, moderate and complete impotence was 52%. The prevalence of complete impotence tripled from 5 to 15% between subject ages 40 and 70 years. Subject age was the variable most strongly associated with impotence. After adjustment for age, a higher probability of impotence was directly correlated with heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, associated medications, and indexes of anger and depression, and inversely correlated with serum dehydroepiandrosterone, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and an index of dominant personality. Cigarette smoking was associated with a greater probability of complete impotence in men with heart disease and hypertension. We conclude that impotence is a major health concern in light of the high prevalence, is strongly associated with age, has multiple determinants, including some risk factors for vascular disease, and may be due partly to modifiable para-aging phenomena.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]simpleState University of New York, Downstate Medical Center Brooklyn, NY, USA
                [2 ]simpleDivision of Urology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario London, ON, Canada
                [3 ]simpleRete Biomedical Communications Corp. Wyckoff, NJ, USA
                [4 ]simpleEli Lilly and Company Indianapolis, IN, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Dr Gerald Brock, Division of Urology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor St., London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2 Tel.: + 1 519 646 6042 Fax: + 1 519 646 6037 Email: gebrock@

                Disclosures This review was supported by Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis, IN), which had a role in the decision to report the findings. Dr Sadovsky is a paid consultant to Pfizer and the sponsor. Dr Brock is a paid consultant to Pfizer, Bayer, Coloplast, American Medical Systems, Johnson and Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as the sponsor. Within the past 5 years, Mr. Gutkin has served as a paid consultant to the sponsor and its affiliates (including Eli Lilly Canada), as well as Abbott, Auxilium, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cumberland, Emory University School of Medicine, Meda, Merck, Novartis, Reliant, Schering-Plough (and Merck/Schering-Plough and its affiliates), and Wyeth. He has also served as a paid lecturer for Johnson & Johnson. Dr Sorsaburu is an employee of, and minor shareholder in, the sponsor.

                Int J Clin Pract
                International Journal of Clinical Practice
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                August 2009
                : 63
                : 8
                : 1214-1230
                Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

                Erectile Dysfunction



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