Longitudinal Quality of Life in Low-Income Men in a State-Funded Prostate Cancer Treatment Program

Published In: Journal of Health Care For the Poor and Underserved, v. 19, no. 1, Feb. 2008, p. 200-215

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Mary Wassel Zavala, Sally L. Maliski, Lorna Kwan, David C. Miller, Arlene Fink, Mark Litwin

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate longitudinal changes in disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among a cohort of low-income men treated for prostate cancer. METHODS: Three hundred fifty-seven participants in a state-funded program that provides free prostate cancer treatment to uninsured, low-income men completed written surveys and telephone interviews containing validated measures of general and disease-specific HRQOL. Assessments were made at study enrollment and at subsequent times. Determinants of change were identified with repeated-measures analyses. RESULTS: The authors found a significant interaction between the acute surgical treatment effects and time of assessment. Men exposed longer to the program's supportive and educational interventions reported less severe declines in post-operative urinary and bowel HRQOL than others. CONCLUSIONS: Demographic covariates predicted general and disease-specific domains of HRQOL. Among patients treated with surgery, longer duration of pre-treatment program enrollment was associated with better outcomes.

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