Objectives: To develop a brief, reliable, self-administered measure of erectile function that is cross-culturally valid and psychometrically sound, with the sensitivity and specificity for detecting treatment-related changes in patients with erectile dysfunction.
Methods: Relevant domains of sexual function across various cultures were identified via a literature search of existing questionnaires and interviews of male patients with erectile dysfunction and of their partners. An initial questionnaire was administered to patients with erectile dysfunction, with results reviewed by an international panel of experts. Following linguistic validation in 10 languages, the final 15-item questionnaire, the international index of Erectile Function (IIEF), was examined for sensitivity, specificity, reliability (internal consistency and test-retest repeatability), and construct (concurrent, convergent, and discriminant) validity.
Results: A principal components analysis identified five factors (that is, erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction) with eigenvalues greater than 1.0. A high degree of internal consistency was observed for each of the five domains and for the total scale (Cronbach's alpha values of 0.73 and higher and 0.91 and higher, respectively) in the populations studied. Test-retest repeatability correlation coefficients for the five domain scores were highly significant. The IIEF demonstrated adequate construct validity, and all five domains showed a high degree of sensitivity and specificity to the effects of treatment. Significant (P values = 0.0001) changes between baseline and post-treatment scores were observed across all five domains in the treatment responder cohort, but not in the treatment nonresponder cohort.
Conclusions: The IIEF addresses the relevant domains of male sexual function (that is, erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction), is psychometrically sound, and has been linguistically validated in 10 languages. This questionnaire is readily self-administered in research or clinical settings. The IIEF demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity for detecting treatment-related changes in patients with erectile dysfunction.