The experiences and barriers in addressing type 2 diabetes mellitus-associated erectile dysfunction: a mixed method systematic review
Introduction: Experiences and determinants connected with type 2 diabetes mellitus-associated erectile dysfunction (T2DMED) in health appointments are not well understood and infrequently reported. This systematic review was undertaken to synthesise evidence of the experiences, facilitators, and barriers around screening ED in men with T2DM during health service consultations. Methods: The review report was based on the guidelines provided by the Joanna Briggs Institute for conducting mixed-method systematic reviews. Eight electronic databases were searched, including Web of Science, Embase via Ovid, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) via EBSCO, ProQuest, PubMed, PsychInfo via Ovid, MEDLINE via Ovid, Portal Garuda. Additionally, the review manually looked through the reference lists of the studies we included. Erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes mellitus, screening and barriers were initially used as keywords in the search strategy. All identified primary studies written in English and Bahasa Indonesia, and published between 2001 and 2022 were meticulously screened following an agreed set of inclusion criteria. Findings: Out of 3468 papers screened, only six were chosen for the review. These included three cross-sectional studies, two qualitative studies, and one mixed-method study. The study quality of the included studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist. Based on the checklist criteria, the studies ranged between 5/10 to 9/10 in terms of quality. After synthesizing the findings, four main categories were identified including the willingness to discuss T2DMED, the barriers experienced and perceived, the limited understanding of T2DMED, and the support expected by men with T2DM. Discussion: Many men kept quiet about their struggles with T2DMED, hoping to bring it up as a topic of discussion during healthcare consultations. Barriers such as embarrassment, a sense of helplessness and reluctance to seek help, financial constraints, and dismissive healthcare professionals hindered them from addressing this issue. Both the participating men and healthcare professionals lacked a comprehensive understanding of T2DMED. Recommendations: It is important to provide education tailored to men's specific needs and improve awareness about T2DM-associated ED. Creating a more T2DMED-friendly environment could be a potential solution to increase early screening and management. Future research should investigate potential barriers that prevent HCPs from identifying and addressing T2MED since their absence in the identified studies highlights this need.