Combination of psychological intervention and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction: a narrative review and meta-analysis

Hannah M Schmidt, Thomas Munder, Heike Gerger, Sarah Frühauf, Jürgen Barth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an increasing health problem that demands effective treatment. There is evidence that phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) and psychological intervention (PI) are effective treatment options; however, little is known about their comparative efficacy and the efficacy of combined treatments.

AIM: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the comparative efficacy of PI, PDE5-Is, and their combination in the treatment of ED.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was ED symptoms, and secondary outcome was sexual satisfaction of the patient.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted in order to identify relevant articles published between 1998 and 2012. We included randomized controlled trials and controlled trials comparing PI with PDE5-I treatment or one of them against a combination of both.

RESULTS: Eight studies with a total number of 562 patients were included in the meta-analysis. The results of the included studies are inconclusive, though they show a trend towards a larger effect of combined treatment compared with PI or PDE5-I treatment alone. The meta-analysis found that, overall, combined treatment was more efficacious for ED symptoms than PDE5-I treatment or PI alone. Combined treatment was more efficacious than PDE5-I use alone on sexual satisfaction. No differences were found between PDE5-Is and PI as stand-alone treatments. None of the moderators (treatment duration, methodological quality, or researcher allegiance) altered the effects.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of PI and PDE5-Is is a promising strategy for a favorable outcome in ED and can be considered as a first-choice option for ED patients. Stronger RCTs are required to confirm this initial finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1376-91
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Dive into the research topics of 'Combination of psychological intervention and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction: a narrative review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this