Impact of Prostate Cancer Screening on Health-Related Quality of Life in At-Risk Families

Published in: Urology, v. 59, no. 6, Jun. 2002, p. 901-906

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Luc Cormier, Francis Guillemin, Antoine Valeri, George Fournier, Olivier Cussenot, Philippe Mangin, Mark Litwin

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OBJECTIVES: To describe the impact of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and anxiety of men with a family history of prostate cancer. METHODS: The authors asked 334 brothers or sons of men with prostate cancer who agreed to undergo PSA testing to fill out HRQOL questionnaires. The questionnaires were the RAND SF-36 (generic HRQOL) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (anxiety-specific). Participants completed the questionnaires at the time of screening, while waiting for the results, and after receiving normal results. Sociodemographic and HRQOL variables were entered into a logistic regression model to identify factors associated with the deterioration of HRQOL, defined as a decrease of at least one standard error of measurement. Only men with normal PSA results were considered. RESULTS: Among 334 candidates, 273 underwent PSA measurement and 220 candidates with a PSA of 4 ng/mL or less returned completed questionnaires. Of these, in 20% their anxiety moderately deteriorated and in 20% their HRQOL minimally deteriorated during the screening process. Factors associated with HRQOL deterioration included age between 50 and 60 years, having more than two relatives with prostate cancer, an anxious personality, a high level of education, and having no children presently living at home. CONCLUSIONS: Screening with normal PSA results is accompanied by a minimally to moderate deterioration of HRQOL in some subjects. The identification of such individuals before screening provides opportunities to improve their HRQOL during the screening process.

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