An empirical operationalization study of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation

M. D. Waldinger, M. W. Hengeveld, A. H. Zwinderman, B. Olivier

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The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation remain to be investigated by a clinical study. A prospective study was therefore conducted to investigate the DSM-IV definition and to provide an empirical operationalization of premature ejaculation. In this study 140 men suffering from lifelong premature ejaculation were interviewed separately from their partners. Various means of assessing the intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) were compared: assessment by spontaneous answer, by questionnaire, by imagining foreplay and intercourse and estimating the ejaculation time without a clock or with a clock, and by stop-watch measurement at home over a one-month period. The number of thrusts and feelings of control during foreplay and intercourse were also assessed. A total of 110 men used the stop-watch method. Ninety percent of all the subjects ejaculated within one minute of intromission, with 80% actually ejaculating within 30 seconds. The age of the men and duration of their relationship were not correlated with IELT; however, the IELT tended to be longer for couples who had a higher frequency of intercourse. There was only a moderate correlation between the various methods of assessing IELT. The results suggest that premature ejaculation could be operationally defined as an IELT < 1 min in more than 90% of episodes of sexual intercourse, independent of age and duration of relationship
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
JournalInternational journal of psychiatry in clinical practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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