Remembered International Index of Erectile Function Domain Scores Are Not Accurate in Assessing Preoperative Potency in Candidates for Bilateral Nerve-Sparing Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

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The reliability of reported postoperative data in patients undergoing nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy is often limited because the degree of sexual function (SF) has not been assessed objectively both before and after treatment. Most reports include only a retrospective chart review, and there is a question of whether such data are accurate.


To test the agreement between a remembered International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score, which targeted SF regarding a period preceding the surgery by 6 months and a real-time IIEF, 4 weeks prior to surgery, in candidates for bilateral nerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy (BNSRRP).


From May 2005 to May 2006, 333 consecutive patients were candidates for BNSRRP at our institution. Upon admission on the day prior to surgery, each patient was asked to complete a set of validated questionnaires including both a remembered and a real-time IIEF. Two-tailed Student's t-test, χ2 test, Pearson correlation coefficient, multivariate regression analyses, and interrater agreement (kappa) were used to test the agreement between the two assessments.

Main Outcome Measures

Assessing the preoperative SF characteristics of candidates for a BNSRRP, and testing the reliability of a remembered IIEF with the interrater agreement (kappa) test.


Mean scores for the remembered IIEF were overall better than the real-time IIEF scores, as supported by direct comparison of the mean IIEF domain scores. Univariate correlation analysis and multivariate regression analysis indicated a significant correlation in the quality of the SF during the two periods. However, the remembered IIEF scores did not show a good statistical agreement with those of the real-time assessment, as demonstrated by the interrater agreement analysis.


Because of the lack of significant agreement between remembered and real-time IIEF scores, the present findings indicate that remembered IIEF should not be used to assess SF in a real-life clinical setting in candidates for BNSRRP.

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