Introduction and objectives: Anxiety has a relevant impact on everyday life, including sexual life, and therefore is considered the final common pathway by which social, psychological and biological stressors negatively affect sexual functioning. The aim of this study is to define the psycho-biological correlates of free-floating anxiety in a large sample of patients complaining erectile dysfunction (ED) based sexual problems.
Methods: We studied a consecutive series of 882 ED-patients using SIEDY, a 13 items structured interview, composed of three scales which identify and quantify organic, relational and intrapsychic domains. MHQ-A scoring from Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ) was used as putative marker of free-floating anxiety symptoms (AS). Metabolic and hormonal parameters, nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test and penile doppler ultrasound (PDU) examination were also performed.
Results: MHQ-A score was significantly higher in patients complaining difficulties in maintaining erection and in those reporting premature ejaculation (6.5±3.3 vs. 5.8±3.3 and 6.6±3.3 vs. 6.1±3.3 respectively; both P<0.05). Moreover, AS were significantly correlated to life stressors quantified by SIEDY Scale 2 (relational component) and Scale 3 (intra-psychic component) scores, as dissatisfaction at work or within the family or couple relationships. Among physical, biochemical or instrumental parameters tested, only end-diastolic velocity at PDU was significantly (P<0.05) related to AS.
Conclusions: In patients with ED based sexual problems, AS are correlated to many relational and life stressors. Conversely, organic problems are not necessarily associated with MHQ-A score.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology