Purpose: We assessed the impact of erectile dysfunction therapy on 1-year health related quality of life using a validated erectile dysfunction specific instrument.
Materials and methods: Using an observational erectile dysfunction registry clinical, sociodemographic and health related quality of life information was collected at baseline, and 3, 6 and 12 months later. Only men who reported undergoing erectile dysfunction treatment were included in this analysis sub-sample. Patients were classified as treatment responders based on improvements in International Index of Erectile Function scores. Changes in health related quality of life scores from baseline were compared between responders and nonresponders.
Results: The cohort consisted of 89 patients, of whom 40 (45%) responded to therapy by International Index of Erectile Function criteria. Responders and nonresponders had comparable baseline disease severity and health related quality of life. At 1 year responders reported significantly better health related quality of life and greater improvement from baseline in sexual experience (mean change -1.64 versus 3.19) and emotional life (mean -3.01 for responders versus 1.75) domains of the Psychological Impact of Erectile Dysfunction scales (p <0.01). This 4.5 to 5 point difference in mean change score (1/2 SD) was considered moderately clinically significant.
Conclusions: Men who respond to erectile dysfunction treatment report significantly better health related quality of life 1 year after initial presentation for erectile dysfunction than nonresponders. This finding should motivate providers to be more proactive in diagnosing and treating men with erectile dysfunction since successful therapy appears to improve health related quality of life. These data suggest that men in whom primary therapy for erectile dysfunction fails should be offered secondary treatment because many men in this study in whom previous therapies failed reported improved health related quality of life when they began effective secondary treatment.