What is it about?

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of group psychotherapy and the use of a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5i) in the early rehabilitation stage of patients with prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP). The groups were individually evaluated for erectile function (IIEF-5) and quality of life – QoL (SF-36) weekly, with two meetings held a week apart before the RP and 12 weekly meetings after surgery. In conclusion, precocious integral treatment involving group psychotherapy and PDE-5i before and after RP led to less deterioration of erectile function and other domains related to physical aspects (SF-36), with improvement in intimacy with their partner and satisfaction in their sex life, being superior to single treatments.

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Why is it important?

The overall goal of psychotherapy is to allow the patient greater pleasure and satisfaction, regardless of the quality of erection. The satisfaction can be enhanced by activities that go beyond the erection, culminating in satisfaction and improved quality of sex life, despite the fact that the male erection problems are not always completely resolved. Additionally, early treatment benefits the sexuality of patients in the short term and may have a positive effect on long term psychological factors. Staying socially and sexually active is associated with physical and mental health, but sexuality is often neglected by being accepted as an expected problem in elderly men. Thus, it is not uncommon after treatment of the primary focus (PCa) that sexual function is seen as secondary to the overall health of this population.


Little research has been done in the area of psychosocial interventions in penile rehabilitation, and there are no guidelines for specific recommendations or consensus regarding the optimal rehabilitation protocol or treatment. Future studies with multidisciplinary approaches should define the role of specific psychosocial interventions tailored to the individual personality, and include evaluation of the influence of the partner.

Dr Angela MEP Naccarato

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Psychotherapy and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor in early rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy: a prospective randomised controlled trial, Andrologia, April 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/and.12557.
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