Introduction: Men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) present a challenge to physicians. Treatment with pharmacological agents alone does not address the complexities of the causative or resulting psychological issues.
Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of an integrative treatment protocol (ITP) with sildenafil and cognitive-behavior sex therapy (CBST) compared with sildenafil alone for men with psychogenic ED.
Main outcome measures: Change from baseline on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) in the domains of erectile function and sexual satisfaction to demonstrate improved sexual functioning and confidence.
Methods: Men with psychogenic ED and female partners were randomized to receive either sildenafil alone or an ITP with sildenafil and CBST for the first 4 weeks. In the last 4 weeks, couples in the sildenafil group added CBST sessions to their regimen; patients in the ITP group continued the combined therapy. The IIEF questionnaire was used to compare erectile function and overall satisfaction serially at pretreatment, 4, and 8 weeks. Couples who met the success criteria in both domains after the first 4 weeks received no further treatment.
Results: Fifty-three couples constituted the study population. After the first 4 weeks of sildenafil and ITP, 48% of men met criteria for success on erectile function and 65.5% for satisfaction compared to men on sildenafil alone with 29% and 37.5% success rates, respectively. After the last 4 weeks, integration of CBST with sildenafil resulted in a 58% success rate for erectile function which was comparable to the 66% rate for the initial drug/ITP group; satisfaction rates for men were 45% and 75%, respectively.
Conclusions: CBST was shown to have a positive influence when used throughout the entire 8 weeks of the ITP or added to the sildenafil in the last 4 weeks. Although patients in both treatment regimens had significant improvements in the IIEF domain scores confirming efficacy of sildenafil, those in the CBST and drug regimen achieved higher rates of clinical success within the first 4 weeks of therapy.