Function Scores Linked to Patient Distress in Prostate Cancer

Assessment of bother can provide insight into health-related quality of life
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Assessing bother -- or patient distress due to functional losses -- provides insight into patients' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) following prostate cancer treatment, according to research published in the October issue of The Journal of Urology.

John L. Gore, M.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data from 475 men with localized prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy, or brachytherapy. Patients underwent a HRQOL assessment before treatment and through 48 months afterward.

The researchers found that poorer function scores were linked to severe urinary, sexual, and bowel bother after treatment. Having a worse American Urological Association Symptom Index score was associated with severe urinary bother. Greater time since treatment was associated with less urinary and bowel bother early after treatment but not over the entire 48 months.

"The distress patients perceive as a result of urinary, sexual or bowel dysfunction may respond to efforts to improve absolute function. Urinary bother responds to changes in urinary control and urinary storage as well as voiding symptoms. Sexual bother may respond to efforts to improve sexual function but must also be supplemented with reasonable expectations for sexual outcomes. Bother measurement is an important component of understanding patient reported HRQOL after prostate cancer treatment," the authors conclude.

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