ObjectiveTo investigate possible differences between Italian and Swedish men in health-related quality of life (HRQL) after cystectomy and orthotopic bladder substitution for bladder cancer.
Patients and methodsThirty-three men in Padua, Italy and 33 in Lund, Sweden were assessed after respective mean postoperative periods of 42 and 52 months. Three questionnaires were used: (i) dealing with view-of-life issues; (ii) the core questionnaire QLQ-C30(+3) from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cacncer, with added questions on urinary symptoms and sexuality; and (iii) one focusing on postoperative psychosocial and sexual adjustment.
ResultsWhile Italian and Swedish men did not differ in their central values, they differed significantly in belief-related values, such as religion. Urinary prob-lems and erectile dysfunction were common in both groups, the former possibly commoner in the Swedish men and the latter in the Italians. Changes in mood and self-esteem were common in both groups. On a visual analogue scale, the Italian men reported a worse present mood than the Swedish men, but expressed a more favourable outlook on their future.
ConclusionDespite differences in philosophical attitudes between Italian and Swedish men, there were no major differences in HRQL. Caution is required in interpreting these findings because there were few participants and the possible inadequacy of the methods used to evaluate the complex concept of quality of life.