Reliability of remembered International Index of Erectile Function domain scores in men with localized prostate cancer

Urology. 2005 Jan;65(1):131-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2004.08.054.


Objectives: To test the reliability of recollected International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) domain scores before and after radical prostatectomy. Recall reliability can be affected by several biases. In men with localized prostate cancer (PCa), conflicting results have been reported.

Methods: Thirty-nine men, aged 44 to 69 years, were invited to participate in a prospectively administered IIEF questionnaire. The survey was administered before and 6 and 12 months after radical prostatectomy. Several months later, a recall IIEF survey targeted the prospectively gathered IIEF data. The independent sample t test, Pearson correlation coefficient, partial correlation, and intraclass correlation coefficient tested the reliability of the recalled IIEF scores versus the prospective ratings.

Results: All 39 men completed the prospective and recalled IIEF surveys addressing preoperative erectile function. Surveys targeting function at 6 and 12 months after surgery were completed by 85% and 51% of the participants, respectively. The erectile function domain demonstrated the greatest recall reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.65 to 0.73). Erectile function and sexual desire scale recall reliability was greatest for pretreatment function or function 12 months after surgery. The orgasmic function domain had the lowest recall reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.37 to 0.54).

Conclusions: When restricted to before surgery and 12 months after surgery, most IIEF domains may be reliably used in a retrospective fashion. The erectile function and sexual desire domains appear to be most reliable, possibly because they address more objective areas of men's sexual function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / psychology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coitus / psychology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Penile Erection / psychology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires