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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • radical prostatectomy;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • RAND 36-Item Health Survey;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • International Index Erectile Function

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients undergoing retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) for clinically localized prostate cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

From February 2002 to September 2003 all patients undergoing RRP in our department were invited to participate in the study; the data from 75 of them comprised the present analysis. For evaluating HRQoL the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36) was used.

RESULTS

Comparing the baseline scores of the SF-36 domains to those at 3, 6 and 12 months, there was a statistically significant difference in ‘physical function’, ‘role limitations due to physical health problems’, ‘role limitations due to emotional problems’, and ‘energy/fatigue’. There were no statistically significant changes in the follow-up values for the other scales of the questionnaire. However, the baseline scores overlapped the 12-month follow-up values for all the SF-36 scales. The mean SF-36 scores reported by incontinent patients were lower than those of the continent patients, although this trend was not statistically significant. At the 12-month follow-up some variables were independent predictors of lower mean scores of some SF-36 scales, i.e. age >65 years, education level less than secondary school, pathological extracapsular extension of cancer and erectile dysfunction.

CONCLUSION

At 1 year after RRP, HRQoL levels in each of the SF-36 domains overlapped those of the baseline in >80% of patients. The age, educational level of patients, local extension of the tumour, and erectile dysfunction could significantly affect the HRQoL scores.