Prospective Patient Preferences for Humor in Urologists Treating Erectile Dysfunction: A Survey Study.

Men seeking treatment for sexual dysfunction can experience embarrassment as a result of stigma. This research manuscript presents the findings of a survey conducted to investigate the influence of humor on prospective patients' preferences when selecting a specialist to address erectile dysfunction (ED).

The respondents were presented with five pairs of mock urology business cards: one professional and one humorous. A questionnaire was designed and distributed via an online survey platform. Descriptive statistics and Fisher's exact test were performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 29 (IBM SPSS Statistics, Armonk, NY) to evaluate age and race associations with card preference.

Among the 997 participants, an average of 66.1% (a median of 71.2%) preferred professional cards. Humorous card selection rates ranged from 5.2% to 38.4% compared to 54.0% to 78.1% for professional cards. A statistically significant relationship between age and professional card choice existed in all except the fifth set of cards (p = 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, and 0.054). The relationship between race or ethnicity and business card preference was not reported due to an imbalance in demographics, with most participants identifying as Caucasian.

A humor-centric approach may not resonate with all individuals seeking treatment for sensitive conditions such as ED. Limitations include the subjectivity of humor, the use of an online survey platform, and the hypothetical nature of this study. Real patients experiencing ED may face stigma and respond to humor differently.

This study provides insights into patient preference for professionalism over humor from their urologist but leaves room for the exploration of humor in medical contexts. Future studies could examine the impacts of humor on patient choices in real-world healthcare settings.

Cureus. 2024 Mar 06*** epublish ***

Max D Sandler, Christabel Egemba, Justin M Dubin, Russell G Saltzman, Amy Pearlman, Roei Golan, Ranjith Ramasamy

Desai Sethi Urology Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, USA., Department of Urology, Memorial Healthcare System, Aventura, USA., Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, USA., Department of Urology, Prime Institute, Coral Gables, USA., College of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, USA.