Health-related Quality-of-Life in Low-Income, Uninsured Men with Prostate Cancer

Published in: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, v. 16, no. 2, May 2005, p. 375-390

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Tracey L. Krupski, Arlene Fink, Lorna Kwan, Sally L. Maliski, Sarah Connor, Barbara Clerkin, Mark Litwin

The objective was to describe health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) in low-income men with prostate cancer. Subjects were drawn from a statewide public assistance prostate cancer program. Telephone and mail surveys included the RAND 12-item Health Survey and UCLA Prostate Cancer Index Short Form and were compared with normative age-matched men without cancer from the general population reported on in the literature. Of 286 eligible men, 233 (81%) agreed to participate and completed the necessary items. The sample consisted of 51% Hispanics, 23% non-Hispanic whites, and 17% African Americans. The low-income men had worse scores in every domain of prostate-specific and general HRQOL than had the age-matched general population controls. The degree of disparity indicated substantial clinical differences in almost every domain of physical and emotional functioning between the sample group and the control group. Linear regression modeling determined that among the low-income men, Hispanic race, and income level were predictive of worse physical functioning, whereas only comorbidities predicted mental health. Low-income patients with prostate cancer appear to have quality-of-life profiles that are meaningfully worse than age-matched men from the general population without cancer reported on in the literature.

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