Measurement of erectile dysfunction in population-based studies: The use of a single question self-assessment in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study

C. A. Derby, A. B. Araujo, C. B. Johannes, H. A. Feldman, J. B. McKinlay

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A concise, reliable means of assessing erectile dysfunction (ED) in large, multidisciplinary population-based studies is needed. A single, direct question for self-assessed ED was assessed in the population-based sample of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS). Of the 1156 respondents to the 1995-97 MMAS follow-up evaluation, 505 were randomly selected to complete either the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) (n=254), or the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory (BMSFI) (n=251), in addition to the single question self-assessment. The proportion not classified due to missing data was MMAS-9%, BMSFI-8%, and IIEF-18%. The single question correlated well with these other measures (r=0.71-0.78, P<0.001). Prevalence was similar to that based on the IIEF, agreement was moderate (kappa=0.56-0.58), and associations with previously identified risk factors were similar for each classification. Thus, the MMAS single question may be a practical tool for population-based studies where detailed clinical measures of ED are impractical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of impotence research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 13 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impotence
  • Population studies
  • Sexual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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