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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
E-pub ahead of print

A qualitative analysis of Internet forum discussions on hard flaccid syndrome

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  • Murat Gul
  • Linda M Huynh
  • Farouk M El-Khatib
  • Faysal A Yafi
  • Ege Can Serefoglu
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Hard flaccid (HF) syndrome is a complex symptom that significantly impacts a man's sexual and social life. Since there is currently only one case series available in the literature regarding HF syndrome, it has not been recognized as a real medical condition. HF syndrome has mostly been reported in several patient forums and its exact definition, prevalence, etiology, and treatment are unknown. We hereby, aimed to understand the nature of HF syndrome and how it is perceived among men. Online forum sites in the English language were systematically evaluated to perform a descriptive qualitative assessment. "Hard flaccid; forum" term was searched in Google® and data were collected from forum posts. Datasets were analyzed using thematic analysis within a three-month period (September 2018-November 2018) and were combined to triangulate analysis. A total of 12 forum discussions, containing 6150 comments, were analyzed. Themes that arose included: "I would like to ensure that I have HF"; "How did I end up like this?"; "Seeking support for treatment choices - who will help me?"; "How can I cope with this condition?". Thematic analysis revealed that most HF cases began after a traumatic event. The reported incidence of HF-related symptoms varies considerably. The most commonly associated symptoms of HF are penile semi-hardness in the flaccid state, penile sensory changes, erectile dysfunction, and emotional distress. Although it is not recognized by major medical authorities, many men appear to suffer from symptoms related to HF syndrome. Future basic science and clinical studies must be conducted to understand the exact pathophysiology of HF syndrome and to develop effective therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
ISSN0955-9930
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

ID: 59047391