A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies had found a significant association of placebo and erectile dysfunction (ED) outcomes.
The study examined data from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is) for the treatment of ED published from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2018 identified within MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science.
A total of 63 studies that included 12,564 men were included.
Erectile function was significantly improved among participants in the placebo arms, with a small to moderate effect size (Hedges g 0.35; P<.001 the placebo effect size was larger among participants with ed associated post-traumatic stress disorder g p=".02)" compared overall analysis.>
No significant difference was found between placebo and PDE5Is for ED after prostate surgery or radiotherapy (Hedges g 0.30; P=.08).
Presenting the findings in JAMA Network Open, the authors say the findings suggest that contextual factors are important in the delivery of care to patients with sexual dysfunction.
“The lack of difference in response between placebo and PDE5Is in certain patient subgroups suggests clinical practice should change, they say.