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Oncol Nurs Forum. 1998 May;25(4):685-93.

Quality of life of patients with prostate cancer treated with surgery or radiation therapy.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To compare the quality-of-life (QOL) perceptions of men treated for prostate cancer with surgery to those of men treated for prostate cancer with radiation therapy.

DESIGN:

A two-group descriptive study.

SETTING:

Midwestern community cancer center and teaching hospital.

SAMPLE:

The study group consisted of 121 men: 68 treated by radical prostatectomy and 53 treated with radiation therapy.

METHODS:

Mailed survey using the Quality of Life Index (QLI) Cancer Version and the University of California at Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES:

QOL; level of urinary, bowel, and sexual function; impact of dysfunction on patients' lives.

FINDINGS:

No significant differences were found between the groups in QLI scores, but significant differences were found in urinary, bowel, and sexual function. Urinary function was superior in the radiation therapy group (p = 0.0002). Patients who had undergone surgery were more likely to leak urine every day (p < 0.001). Only 6% of patients who had undergone radiation therapy needed to use pads or diapers as compared to 32% of patients who had undergone surgery. Bowel function was better in the surgery group (p = 0.05). Both groups reported poor sexual function, although it was worse in the surgery group (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS:

The patients who were treated with surgery had significantly worse urinary and sexual function and better bowel function than those treated with radiation therapy. QOL scores were consistent with these findings, although they did not differ significantly between groups.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE:

This information on the problems of survivors of prostate cancer after surgery and radiation therapy and the effects of therapy on QOL will assist nurses in providing patient education, emotional support, and rehabilitative interventions.

PMID:
9599352
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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