Partnership Status Influences Quality of Life in Low-Income, Uninsured Men with Prostate Cancer

Published in: Cancer, v. 104, no. 1, July 1, 2005, p. 191-8

by John L. Gore, Tracey L. Krupski, Lorna Kwan, Sally L. Maliski, Mark Litwin

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BACKGROUND: Being partnered confers significant benefits in survival for patients with prostate cancer, yet little is known of the impact of relationship status on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The authors evaluated the influence of partnership on measures of HRQOL. METHODS: The authors studied 291 patients who were enrolled in a program that provided free treatment to impoverished, uninsured men with prostate cancer. The associations between relationship status and measures of general and disease-specific HRQOL were evaluated. Results from multivariate models determined the independent effect of partnership on HRQOL. RESULTS: Partnered patients were more likely than unpartnered patients to be Hispanic (58% vs. 34%) and were more likely to have elected surgical therapy (49% vs. 34%). Multivariate analyses, controlling for age, ethnicity, disease stage, and treatment type, revealed that partnered patients had better mental health (P = 0.009), less urinary bother (P = 0.011), higher spirituality (P = 0.037), and lower symptom distress (P = 0.005) than unpartnered participants. CONCLUSIONS: Relationship status had a positive effect on the quality of life of low-income, uninsured men with prostate cancer.

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