Introduction: A screening program aimed at early detection of erectile dysfunction, among other hidden morbidities, is offered by the medical services of the Israel Defense Force for career servicemen. Men apparently with erectile dysfunction can turn to a sexual rehabilitation specialist for consultation.
Aim: To present our experience in sexual evaluation of men with low scores in the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) questionnaire.
Methods: Men aged 25-50 years go through a routine check-up at the Staff Periodic Examination Center. The SHIM questionnaire was used to characterize erectile dysfunction. Men who had scored low in the SHIM questionnaire were referred to a sexual consultation and evaluation.
Results: During 2001-2003, 11,914 men reported to the Staff Periodic Examination Center (mean age 34.8 +/- 7.1 years). Among 5,836 men who filled out the SHIM questionnaire (compliance of 48.9%), 1,570 (26.9%) men scored low. Of those men with low SHIM scores, 7.2% (114/1,570) underwent a sexual dysfunction evaluation. Only 50% (57/114) of the men in fact had erectile dysfunction, of whom 15.7% (9/57) also had premature ejaculation. In addition, 38.5% (44/114) of the men were found to have premature ejaculation only, and the rest (14/114, 9.7%) had other sexual dysfunctions or lack of sexual knowledge.
Conclusion: The SHIM questionnaire is a valuable tool for detecting various sexual dysfunctions other than erectile dysfunction. Incorporating the SHIM questionnaire in a routine check-up encourages men to seek consultation and treatment for sexual disorders. In addition, the SHIM questionnaire encourages men to seek sexual education and increase their awareness of issues concerning sexual health.