Men with erectile dysfunction can overcome their problem by taking part in group psychotherapy, according to a Cochrane Systematic Review .
The study also suggests that supplementing sildenafil, sold under the names Viagra, Revatio and under various other names, to group therapy can make the treatment more effective than sildenafil alone.
Normal sexual function relies on the coordination of psychological, endocrine, vascular, and neurological factor.
The recent study, which mainly focuses on the role of psychological issues, indicates that depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and other psychosocial stresses can play a significant part in erectile dysfunction.
In the course of study, the researchers drew data from nine randomised trials and two quasi-randomised trials, involving 398 men with erectile dysfunction who had been given psychotherapy, medication, psychotherapy plus medication or vacuum devices. A further 59 were in non-treatment control groups.
We found that 95% of men in the psychosocial therapy group benefited from the treatment, while there was no change in over the same period of time in the controls, says Professor Tamara Melnik, a psychiatrists working at the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil.
We now need some large randomised trials with longer follow-up periods in order to measure exactly how effective psychosocial therapy can be. This research will need to group the men carefully, and also consider different forms of psychosocial treatment, says Melnik.
It, however, still remains to be determined as to which patients can benefit from psychosocial therapy the most.
One problem with psychosocial therapy is that we are still uncertain which patients are most likely to benefit from it and if effectiveness depend upon personality factors, psychiatric co-morbid diagnosis, length of therapy time, says Melnik.
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