Effect on quality of life for men with erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction ('ED' or 'Impotence') is defined as 'the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance'. It has been suggested that ED is one of the most common chronic medical disorders in men over 40 years old. A recent study found that 36% of men ages between 40 and 70 years old were moderately to completely impotent. Alarmingly, the prevalence of ED is increasing. It was estimated in 2005 that 25 million men in the United States experienced some form of ED. Quality of life research in men with ED is primarily focused on physical function and sexual satisfaction. Quality of life studies found four clear domains:
1. Sexual Performance Inadequacy
2. Relationships with partners (decrease in interactions with sexual partners)
3. Sexual Imaginings (loss of physical or emotional responses to attractive sexual partners); and
4. Masculinity (loss of sexual function diminishing a man's sense of self).

Sexuality is a key component of quality of life and the ability to have and sustain an erection for intercourse is an important aspect of sexuality. In addition, ED can influence beliefs about masculinity and confidence with sexual partners.

Changes in male sexual function can create adverse emotional outcomes with corresponding impotence symptoms such as anxiety or depression. Satisfaction with one's sexual life has been linked to a prediction of general life satisfaction. For men with other depressive factors, impotence can produce an additional negative impact on their quality of life. Indeed the psychological impacts of impotence could impact more than the physical effects of a chronic illness.

Participants in Study

Participants were found from two GUM clinics from London Hospitals which specialise in erectile dysfunction. The sample size was 50 with a mean age of 47 years old and range 25 to 77 years old. The sample size consisted of men with partial or complete ED, diagnosed at least four months prior to the commencement of the study. The majority of the study group were White Caucasian (51%), followed by Black Caribbean and Black African (37%) and the remaining 12% were Asian. Over two-thirds of the sample was married or with a partner, 12% were single and 22% were divorced, widowed or separated.

Tags :   Erectile Dysfunction Impotence Impotence Symptoms
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