• Quality of life;
  • prostatectomy;
  • outcomes;
  • benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • urinary symptoms;
  • questionnaire

Objectives To investigate the performance of the EuroQol (EQ) quality-of-life measure and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) in assessing the outcome of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) suggestive of benign prostatic obstruction (BPO), and to determine which men experience the greatest increase in health-related quality of life (HRQL) after TURP.

Patients and methods A prospective cohort study was undertaken over 12 months from April 1992 of 314 men who completed the EQ, the NHP and a symptom inventory before undergoing elective TURP for probable BPO (Group 1). Identical postal questionnaires were used to follow up this group at 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months post-operatively, with response rates of 79%, 74% and 69%, respectively. Overall, 92% of patients responded at either 6 or 12 months after surgery. A group of 51 men who had not undergone operation, also with LUTS and probable BPO, were similarly followed over 6 months, before eventually undergoing TURP (Group 2). These patients differed from Group 1 in being younger, less symptomatic and having a higher baseline quality-of-life score, but the inclusion of this group from a broadly similar diagnostic category allowed outcome to be assessed over time in the absence of surgery.

Results There was a significant improvement in all LUTS 6 weeks after TURP; post-micturition dribbling and storage symptoms continued to improve for up to one year. The NHP revealed pre-operative morbidity in all dimensions of the profile. At 12 months after surgery there were significant improvements in the domains of social interaction, energy, pain, emotional reactions and sleep. The EQ profile also showed morbidity in all dimensions before surgery, with significant improvement at 12 months in usual activities, mood and pain/discomfort. The EQ self-rated health and composite quality-of-life score also showed improvement with TURP which continued for 12 months after surgery. The patients in Group 2 tended to deteriorate over the 6 months of follow-up using all measures, but the changes were not significant. The EQ composite quality-of-life score also discriminated between patients on the basis of age, number of symptoms and ASA grade, suggesting that these subgroups experienced differing amounts of benefit from surgery.

Conclusion TURP led to significant improvement in the indices of generic HRQL as measured using the NHP and EQ; this improvement continued for 12 months after surgery and mirrored the symptomatic improvement. The EQ confirmed clinical experience, in that men who were younger, fitter and most symptomatic experienced the greatest benefit from surgery. This has not been shown previously using a quality-of-life measure. Generic HRQL measures can be incorporated easily into clinical trials and both the measures used in this study have sufficient sensitivity to be used in this population. The EQ has the advantage of generating a composite quality-of-life score which is easy to interpret and can be used in cost-utility analysis. The addition of HRQL measures leads to a more robust appraisal of the results of surgical intervention. Ultimately, patient-based outcome from TURP will be assessed using a combination of psychometrically tested disease-specific and generic measures, together with symptom scoring.