Background This study describes and compares health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of prostate cancer patients who received either radical prostatectomy (nerve-sparing, nsRP, or non-nerve-sparing, nnsRP) or radiotherapy (external RT, brachytherapy, or both combined) for treatment of localised prostate cancer.
Methods The prospective, multicenter cohort study included 529 patients. Questionnaires included the IIEF, QLQ-C30, and PORPUS-P. Data were collected before (baseline), three, six, twelve, and twenty-four months after treatment. Differences between groups' baseline characteristics were assessed; changes over time were analysed with generalised estimating equations (GEE). Missing values were treated with multiple imputation. Further, scores at baseline and end of follow-up were compared to German reference data.
Results The typical time trend was a decrease of average HRQOL three months after treatment followed by (partial) recovery. RP patients experienced considerable impairment in sexual functioning. The covariate-adjusted GEE identified a significant - but not clinically relevant - treatment effect for diarrhoea (b = 7.0 for RT, p = 0.006) and PORPUS-P (b = 2.3 for nsRP, b = 2.2 for RT, p = 0.045) compared to the reference nnsRP. Most of the HRQOL scores were comparable to German norm values.
Conclusions Findings from previous research were reproduced in a specific setting of a patient cohort in the German health care system. According to the principle of evidence-based medicine, this strengthens the messages regarding treatment in prostate cancer and its impacts on patients' health-related quality of life. After adjustment for baseline HRQOL and other covariates, RT patients reported increased symptoms of diarrhoea, and nnsRP patients decreased prostate-specific HRQOL. RP patients experienced considerable impairment in sexual functioning. These differences should be taken into account by physicians when choosing the best therapy for a patient.
BMC Urol. 2015;15(28) © 2015 BioMed Central, Ltd.