Relationship between patient self-assessment of erectile function and the erectile function domain of the international index of erectile function

Urology. 2000 Sep 1;56(3):477-81. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(00)00697-x.


Objectives: To assess the validity of severity classes on the erectile function (EF) domain of the International Index of Erectile Function by determining their relationship with the self-assessment of EF, before and after treatment, in an independent cohort of patients.

Methods: Two hundred forty-seven men with clinically diagnosed erectile dysfunction (ED) and in a stable heterosexual relationship were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 12-week, flexible-dose study. Patients assessed their degree of ED as severe, moderate, minimal/mild, or no problem at baseline and after treatment. They also responded to the six questions of the EF domain, with the total score indicating the following degrees of ED: severe, EF score 1 to 10; moderate, EF score 11 to 16; mild to moderate, EF score 17 to 21; mild, EF score 22 to 25; and no ED, EF score 26 to 30. Descriptive profiles of the two diagnostic instruments were compared. The correlations between the instruments were evaluated with Kendall's tau-b at baseline, after treatment at 12 weeks, and at change from baseline.

Results: The two measures gave generally similar descriptive profiles of ED severity. The correlations were 0. 65 (95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.73) at baseline, 0.86 (95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.89) after 12 weeks of treatment, and 0. 73 (95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.79) at change from baseline.

Conclusions: The moderate-to-high correlation between the patients' self-assessment of EF and the EF domain of the International Index of Erectile Function provides a validation of this domain for the reliable diagnostic classification of ED severity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erectile Dysfunction / classification*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Purines
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Sildenafil Citrate