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J Urol. 1998 May;159(5):1541-7.

Health outcomes variables important to patients in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

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Department of Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research, Managed Care Resources, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA.



Erectile dysfunction is underreported and the rate of noncompliance with therapy is high. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Impotence endorsed the need for outcomes research of the various approaches to treatment. The purpose of our exploratory study was to begin that process through identification of erectile dysfunction treatment outcomes variables that are important to men.


The study format consisted of focus group meetings. The goal of the discussions was to identify variables that are important to men when choosing among and judging the success of treatment modalities for erectile dysfunction. After discussion participants were individually asked to identify the 10 variables that they considered important and rank the 5 most important variables. An importance score reflecting group consensus was calculated for each variable.


Success and negative outcomes were identified as the 2 most important outcomes variables for all treatment modalities. Participants defined success in several ways. The most important measures of success were cure, pleasure and partner satisfaction. Negative outcome was defined as negative consequences associated with treatment.


The focus group discussion assisted in identifying and defining outcomes variables important to patients with erectile dysfunction. We believe that understanding issues and outcomes important to such patients is necessary to increase compliance with treatment and, thereby, increase the success of treatment of this widespread condition.

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