Spirituality Influences Health Related Quality of Life in Men with Prostate Cancer

Published in: Psycho-Oncology, v. 15, no. 2, Feb. 2006, p. 121-131

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Tracey L. Krupski, Lorna Kwan, Arlene Fink, Geoffrey A. Sonn, Sally L. Maliski, Mark Litwin

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Spirituality is interdependent with the biological, psychological, and interpersonal aspects of life. Although spirituality has been studied in breast cancer survivors, little work has been done in men with prostate cancer. The authors sought to determine whether lower spirituality in men with early stage prostate cancer is associated with worse general health-related quality of life (HRQOL), disease-specific HRQOL, or psychosocial health. Two hundred and twenty-two subjects were drawn from a state-funded program providing free prostate cancer treatment to indigent men. Validated instruments captured spirituality, general and disease-specific HRQOL, anxiety, symptom distress, and emotional well-being. The authors found a consistent relationship between spirituality and the outcomes assessed. Low spirituality was associated with significantly worse physical and mental health, sexual function and more urinary bother after controlling for covariates. All of the psychosocial variables studied reflected worse adjustment in the men with low spirituality. Because the likelihood of prostate cancer survivorship is high, interventions targeting spirituality could impact the physical and psychosocial health of many men.

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