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Treatment preferences of patients with erectile dysfunction: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

INTRODUCTION: Patients' treatment preferences (PTP) depend on the complex interaction of numerous patient- and treatment-related factors; their assessment can guide therapy and promote compliance of patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). We aimed to systematically describe the literature evaluating the treatment preferences of patients with ED, published in the last 25 years.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A comprehensive bibliographic search of multiple databases was conducted in June, 2023. The literature search was limited to the articles published since 1998. Articles were deemed eligible if they described male patients with ED (P) undergoing treatment for this condition (I) compared with other treatments, placebo or sham therapy (C), and reported PTP (O). Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and post-hoc analyses of RCTs were selected (S). The data were presented in a narrative fashion. The risk of bias (RoB) was evaluated using the RoB 2 tool and the Mulhall-Montorsi model.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total 14 RCTs evaluating 6,841 patients and 4 post-hoc analyses of RCTs were included. All RCTs were considered to be at high RoB. No validated tool was used to investigate PTP. Sildenafil was the most frequently evaluated ED treatment (9 RCTs). Sildenafil was chosen over placebo by 78-100% of subjects and over ICI in 70% of patients due to its easier route of administration. No significant difference in patient preference was recorded between Sildenafil tablets and orodispersible (53% vs. 47%, P>0.05). Tadalafil was preferred over Sildenafil by 66-73% of patients (P<0.05), mainly because it allowed an erection long after taking the drug (55-67%). Tadalafil as-needed was chosen over Tadalafil 3 times/week by 57-59% of the patients (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The available RCTs support the preference of ED patients for Sildenafil over ICI, Tadalafil over Sildenafil, and Tadalafil as-needed over Tadalafil 3 times/week. However, these findings should be considered at high RoB.

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