Recognizing the risk of erectile dysfunction in a urology clinic practice

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the utility of simple patient-reported information in signalling erectile dysfunction (ED), as a challenge for the clinical urologist or related specialist is to quickly recognize risk factors for sexual dysfunction within the time constraints of an office visit. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a sample of men visiting a urology clinic, we determined the utility of simple patient-reported information in signalling ED. RESULTS: Information readily obtained through a patient's self-report (that typically obtained in the office setting) can be very useful in understanding and predicting the likelihood of ED. Risk factors identified largely paralleled those identified in men generally, and included age, specific urological and non-urological somatic conditions, and tobacco use. Furthermore, knowing about even moderate levels of patient-reported psychological or relationship stress was useful in assessing the risk of ED. CONCLUSION: Understanding the relationship of such risk factors to ED among men visiting a urology clinic might be particularly useful in clinical situations where the patient, for whatever reason, is reluctant to disclose an erectile problem when scheduling an appointment or even during the consultation.