Impact of sildenafil on marital and sexual adjustment in patients and their wives after radiotherapy and short-term androgen suppression for prostate cancer Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0215 investigated the efficacy of sildenafil in improving erectile dysfunction following radiotherapy and neoadjuvant/concurrent androgen deprivation therapy among prostate cancer patients and found a significant improvement on drug but only in 21% of study participants. This paper reports on a secondary aim to investigate the effect of sildenafil on overall sexual and marital adjustment among both patients and their wives. METHODS: RTOG 0215 was a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial of sildenafil. Participation of wives was optional. Twenty-four married heterosexual couples (33% of heterosexual couples in study) completed the Sexual Adjustment Questionnaire and Locke's Marital Adjustment Test. Treatment differences in mean change scores were evaluated by paired t-tests, and the proportion of patients achieving a clinically meaningful change was evaluated using chi-square tests. Spearman's correlation coefficients were used to determine the association of adjustment between patients and wives. RESULTS: There was no significant change in either sexual or marital adjustment for patients. For wives, there was a trend for improvement in sexual adjustment but no significant change in marital adjustment. Change in marital adjustment between patients and wives was weakly related (r(s) = 0.15, p = 0.48), and for sexual adjustment, there was a moderate, but nonsignificant relationship (r(s) = 0.40, p = 0.09). CONCLUSIONS: Larger studies are warranted to further examine possible differences in sexual experiences and treatment needs between prostate cancer patients and their wives, as well as to assess predictors of sildenafil response.


  • Hanisch, LJ
  • Bryan, CJ
  • James, JL
  • Pisansky, TM
  • Corbett, Tom
  • Parliament, MB
  • Stewart, CE
  • Hartford, AC
  • Sandler, H
  • Berk, LB
  • Kachnic, L
  • Bruner, DW

publication date

  • November 2012

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