Symptoms, unmet needs, psychological well-being and health status in survivors of prostate cancer: Implications for redesigning follow-up
Walter F., Weller D., Wilkinson C., Faithfull S., Wolstenholme J., Sooriakumaran P., Kastner C., Campbell C., Neal R., Butcher H., Matthews M., Perera R., Rose P.
© 2015 The Authors BJU International © 2015 BJU International. Objective To explore ongoing symptoms, unmet needs, psychological wellbeing, self-efficacy and overall health status in survivors of prostate cancer. Patients and Methods An invitation to participate in a postal questionnaire survey was sent to 546 men, diagnosed with prostate cancer 9-24 months previously at two UK cancer centres. The study group comprised men who had been subject to a range of treatments: surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and active surveillance. The questionnaire included measures of prostate-related quality of life (Expanded Prostate cancer Index Composite 26-item version, EPIC-26); unmet needs (Supportive Care Needs Survey 34-item version, SCNS-SF34); anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), self-efficacy (modified Self-efficacy Scale), health status (EuroQol 5D, EQ-5D) and satisfaction with care (questions developed for this study). A single reminder was sent to non-responders after 3 weeks. Data were analysed by age, co-morbidities, and treatment group. Results In all, 316 men completed questionnaires (64.1% response rate). Overall satisfaction with follow-up care was high, but was lower for psychosocial than physical aspects of care. Urinary, bowel, and sexual functioning was reported as a moderate/big problem in the last month for 15.2% (n = 48), 5.1% (n = 16), and 36.5% (n = 105) men, respectively. The most commonly reported moderate/high unmet needs related to changes in sexual feelings/relationships, managing fear of recurrence/uncertainty, and concerns about the worries of significant others. It was found that 17% of men (51/307) reported potentially moderate-to-severe levels of anxiety and 10.2% (32/308) reported moderate-to-severe levels of depression. The presence of problematic side-effects was associated with higher psychological morbidity, poorer self-efficacy, greater unmet needs, and poorer overall health status. Conclusion While some men report relatively few problems after prostate cancer treatment, this study highlights important physical and psycho-social issues for a significant minority of survivors of prostate cancer. Strategies for identifying those men with on-going problems, alongside new interventions and models of care, tailored to individual needs, are needed to improve quality of life.