35 Sexual Dysfunction - What Is The Family Physician Role?

Author(s): 
MENAHEM SASSON Ben-Gurion University, Israel, sassoni@internet-zahav.net
Text: 
Background
Studies suggest that sexual dysfunction is prevalent in 10-52% of women and 25-63% of men, and could have a tremendous impact on the individual interpersonal relations and on the quality of life. Although a primary care physician can successfully manage more than 80% of sexual dysfunction causes, there might be many barriers with the primary care setting for treatment. Unfortunately there are few studies evaluating sexual dysfunction therapy by primary care physicians.
Objectives:
Our study assesses attitudes, knowledge and sexual dysfunction management by Israeli primary care physicians.
Methods: The study population consisted of a convenient sample of 292 primary care physicians working in all four HMO's from around Israel attending a National Family Medicine and General Practice conference last year. A self-reply questionnaire was distributed among the participants and 179 completed the full questionnaire (61%). Data was analysed by Epi Info 6.01B and SPSS statistical program.
Results: Seventy nine percent of the physicians thought the primary care physician should be the address for treating most of sexual dysfunction problems. Seventy six percent of the physicians interviewed reported treating on more than ten patients for sexual dysfunction during the last year. Physicians indicated that only 12% of their patients treated for sexual dysfunction were female. Significant differences were found between male and female physicians, board certified Family Physicians, GP's and residents in Family Medicine regarding sexual dysfunction treatment. The main barriers for treating sexual dysfunction noted by physicians were lack of time (62%) and knowledge (47%).
Conclusion:
More courses and conferences are needed to increase awareness, knowledge and confidence among primary care physicians regarding treatment of sexual dysfunction.
Literature: 
35 SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION - WHAT IS THE FAMILY PHYSICIAN ROLE?