Psychosocial and Relationship Issues in Men With Erectile Dysfunction

Patrick J. DiMeo, BSN, RN, OCN


Urol Nurs. 2006;26(6):442-446. 

In This Article


Even though there is an abundance of information, many patients and partners still do not have a grasp of the proper understanding of sexual functioning and dysfunction (Albaugh et al., 2002). Once the assessment is completed, the clinician can pinpoint specific educational needs of the patient/ partner. Misconceptions can be corrected. If there are medical reasons for the man's ED, this information is presented and discussed. It is important for the clinician to review pertinent risk factors that the patient can control to improve his overall health (see Table 5 ). Referrals for smoking cessation classes, workout facilities, and booklets of recipes of proper diet can be offered.

The clinician then discusses the possible treatment options indepth and reviews the pros, cons, and side effects of the treatments with the patient/partner. With the proper information, they can process the information and start to feel better about themselves and their options.

Health care clinicians should encourage couples to communicate and ask questions so they know what each other is thinking. It is beneficial for the clinician to provide booklets or pamphlets about issues that can cause ED. Review this information in lay language so that they can fully understand. The clinician may need to intervene and inform the patient/partner of some sexual foreplay activities that could be helpful for them. This will depend on the treatment option(s) chosen (see Table 6 ). These foreplay activities can assist the couple to gradually become more intimate and enhance the treatment options.

It is important to stress to the patient/partner the need to practice and develop a comfort level with any of the clinical recommendations provided. However, if these recommendations are not effective, than a referral to a sex therapist or marriage counselor may be indicated.


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