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Support Care Cancer. 2016 May;24(5):1983-1990. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-2949-5. Epub 2015 Oct 24.

Piloting prostate cancer patient-reported outcomesin clinical practice.

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Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, Kingston General Hospital, Queens University, 25 King Street W, Kingston, ON, K7L 5P9, Canada.
Cancer Care & Epidemiology, Queens University, 10 Stuart St, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada.
Oncology Nursing Research and Education, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Psychosocial Oncology, Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology, Cancer Research Institute, Queen's University, Queen's Cancer Research Institute, 10 Stuart Street, Level 2, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada.



The expanded prostate cancer index composite-26 (EPIC-26) instrument is a validated research tool used for capturing patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes related to the domains of bowel, bladder, and sexual functioning for men undergoing curative treatment for prostate cancer. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of clinicians with using EPIC-26 in a clinical setting for patients receiving curative radiotherapy.


Ten clinicians reviewed EPIC-26 scores either before or during weekly clinical encounters with patients receiving curative radiation treatment for prostate cancer. After a period of 2 months, clinicians underwent individual semi-structured interviews where they were asked about their views on measuring patient-reported outcomes in practice, the value of EPIC-26, impressions on patient acceptability, and operational issues.


There was a general willingness and acceptance by clinicians to use EPIC-26 for routine clinical practice. Clinician participants found EPIC-26 to be generally informative, and added value to the clinical encounter by providing additional information that was specific to prostate cancer patients. EPIC-26 was also felt to improve overall communication and provide additional insight into the patient experience.


Our qualitative findings suggest that there may be a role for incorporating patient-reported outcome measure assessment tools like EPIC-26 routinely into clinical practice. However, further qualitative and quantitative research is required in order to assess the impact of patient-reported outcome information on communication, patient and clinician satisfaction, and how these and other related outcomes can be used for guiding treatment decision-making.


Patient-reported outcomes; Prostate cancer; Quality of life; Radiation therapy

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