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Treatment motivation of men with ED: what motivates men with ED to seek professional help and how can women support their partners?

Abstract

Although ED can impair sexual satisfaction as well as the quality of partnership and life, men affected often avoid seeking treatment. There is growing evidence that women have an influence on their partner’s help-seeking behavior. This qualitative study examined men with ED and their female partners in order to detect motivational factors for men to seek treatment and motivational actions of the women to support their partners. Twelve couples took part in a semi-structured telephone interview, which was performed separately in men and women. Analysis was on the basis of the Grounded Theory. The identified motivational factors could be divided into extrinsic (for example, media, female partner) and intrinsic (for example, desire to clarify the cause of the ED, hope for improvement) factors. Women can support their partners in treatment-seeking through various motivational actions such as talking with each other, showing interest and dealing actively with the problem, appealing to the male self-esteem, supporting the doctor’s visit, forcing the treatment, active cooperation and participation in the treatment or initiating sexual intercourse. On the basis of these findings, recommendations for women were developed to support their partners and increase the probability of help-seeking behavior.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Information Center for Sexuality and Health (ISG), the Department of Urology of the University Medical Center Freiburg and the participating self-help groups for the productive collaboration in performing the study. We further acknowledge the role of Erika Schmidt in preparing the interviews. We would further like to thank Hanna Schmidt for her collaboration, for example, in conducting interviews, and Sarah Mannion for proofreading. MMB currently holds research grants from the German Ministry for Education and Research. This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Germany.

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Correspondence to S Gerster or M M Berner.

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The Information Center for Sexuality and Health (ISG) receives sponsoring from Pfizer and Lilly Germany. He received tuition fees from Lilly Icos and Pfizer He also received travel expenses from the European Sexual Dysfunction Alliance (ESDA). The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Gerster, S., Günzler, C., Roesler, C. et al. Treatment motivation of men with ED: what motivates men with ED to seek professional help and how can women support their partners?. Int J Impot Res 25, 56–62 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijir.2012.37

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ijir.2012.37

Keywords

  • communication
  • ED
  • help-seeking behavior
  • motivation

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