Opinion piece: Myths surrounding the investigation and treatment of erectile dysfunction (Part 3)

In a separate study by Lewis et al involving oral medication treatment, patient and partner satisfaction with sildenafil were measured using the ED inventory of treatment satisfaction questionnaire. A total of 247 patients with ED were treated in a randomized, double-blind parallel-group, multicentre study conducted through outpatient clinics. The partner completion rate was only 21% and 25% for sildenafil and placebo, respectively. The reason for this low rate of completion, particularly as part of a clinical study, is not known. However, it suggests that the involvement of the partner in ED patient treatment may not be as active as we would expect.
It is acknowledged that most outpatient settings are not appropriate for conjoint consultations. Certainly in , where remuneration issues tend to streamline consultation efforts, the trend is toward treatment of the ED in isolation from the partner. Family physicians are better suited to include relationship issues in their treatment decisions, particularly if the ED patient’s partner is also a member of his/her practice. But is the treatment of the patient without the partner likely to sabotage the outcome?

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