Changes in Quality of Life Among Low-Income Men Treated for Prostate Cancer

Published in: Urology, v. 66, no. 2, Aug. 2005, p. 344-349

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Rondeep Brar, Sally L. Maliski, Lorna Kwan, Tracey L. Krupski, Mark Litwin

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OBJECTIVES: To investigate as the primary objective changes over time in general and disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among low-income men treated for prostate cancer in a longitudinal prospective study. METHODS: Study participants were recruited from a state-funded program providing free prostate cancer treatment to impoverished men. The authors included men who completed telephone interviews and self-administered questionnaires at study enrollment and 6 months of follow-up. Covariates univariately associated with HRQOL change scores were included in multivariate linear regression models. All HRQOL models were controlled for age at enrollment, race, baseline HRQOL, and treatment effects at baseline and follow-up. RESULTS: Subjects with greater baseline Gleason scores experienced more negative changes in their physical health than did men with lower Gleason scores. Men with less than a high school education experienced greater improvement in their mental well-being than did men with more than a high school education. Those experiencing treatment effects at baseline displayed greater positive changes in their urinary function than did those without treatment effects at baseline. Finally, men experiencing treatment effects at follow-up were characterized by profound reductions in sexual function compared with those free of treatment effects at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides new insights into HRQOL over time in a low-income, multiethnic group of patients with prostate cancer.

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