Performance of the International Index of Erectile Function tool in men with epilepsy

Elizabeth Dawson, Sonja E. Stutzman, Dai Wai M. Olson, Ryan S. Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 18 million men suffer from some type of erectile dysfunction (ED), which is primarily attributed to age, comorbid health conditions, or medications. Men with epilepsy encounter all of these issues, yet ED literature and research in men with epilepsy is not yet robust. The purpose of this study was to test the utility of a validated ED screening tool in a population of men with epilepsy, as well as to assess additional parameters that may contribute to ED in this specific patient population. The secondary aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of noncompliance of epilepsy medication which may be due to a perceived relationship with ED. Methods: This was a prospective pilot study to validate the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) in men with epilepsy. Enrolled men, between the ages of 18–45 years, were given an anonymous online survey that included the IIEF, as well as additional elements pertinent to their seizures and related treatment, including medication compliance. Results: A total of 164 men completed the IIEF survey. Of these, 28% of respondents indicated the presence of ED, for which specific treatment might be warranted. The IIEF has 5 subscales; mean scores for each subscale are the following: ED 17.48/30, orgasmic function 6.2/10, sexual desire 6.72/10, intercourse satisfaction 8.98/15, and overall satisfaction 5.18/10. Four additional variables were added to specify the needs of men with epilepsy. Conclusion: The IIEF can be administered to men with epilepsy. The addition of specific targeted questions in this patient population may also provide better understanding and facilitate an open dialog about how male sexual function relates to epilepsy and/or treatment thereof.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-81
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Epilepsy
  • Instrument development
  • Medication adherence
  • Nursing
  • Sexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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