Screening for erectile dysfunction as part of periodic examination programs - Concept and implementation

R. J. Heruti*, M. Yossef, T. Shochat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be an early and first sign of an underlying systemic disease. A screening program is offered by the Israeli Defense Force for career servicemen at the staff periodic examination center (SPEC), the aim of which was early detection of morbidity. We introduced the Sexual Human Inventory for Males (SHIM) questionnaire, in order to detect examinees with ED, and offer them suitable treatment options. The purpose of this study is to introduce the concept of an ED questionnaire as part of a screening program, and to describe the first months of its implementation. A computerized questionnaire is used to collect the medical history. The SHIM questionnaire was incorporated into the medical questionnaire. Relevant data including compliance to reply, SHIM scores, age and accompanying diseases of patients were collected from the computerized database of SPEC. A total of 2182 patients reported to SPEC from 1/5/01 to 1/11/01, 1980 of whom were males. Of the males, 881 (44.5%) chose to fill the SHIM questionnaire (mean age 34.5±6.7y), and 244 of them (27.7%) had a score of 21 or less (20.7% had 17-21, 5.7% 11-16, 1.4% 0-10). The prevalence of ED and its severity increases with age. An inverted linear correlation was found between age and SHIM score (r = -0.22, P <0.0001). Prevalence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus is higher in patients with SHIM score ≤16 compared to those with a score ≥22. Only 15% of men with ED refer themselves for medical help. The concept of adding an ED questionnaire to a screening program may encourage more men to seek treatment, not only for their ED, but also for the underlying disease. The platform of a periodic examination offers maximum privacy to the examinees, resulting in better cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Periodic examination program
  • SHIM (Sexual Human Inventory for Males)
  • Screening


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