A descriptive study of functions, symptoms, and perceived health state after radiotherapy for prostate cancer

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European Journal of Oncology Nursing





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aged, article, bladder disease, Canada, education, Health Status Indicators, health survey, human, Humans, Linear Models, male, Ontario, pathophysiology, Perceived health state, Prospective Studies, prospective study, Prostate cancer, prostate tumor, Prostatic Neoplasms, Quality of life, questionnaire, Questionnaires, Radiation treatment, Rectal Diseases, rectum disease, sexual dysfunction, Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological, statistical model, symptoms, treatment outcome, Urinary Bladder Diseases


Purpose: To explore the impact of prostate cancer treatment on: (a) the experience of symptoms (i.e. sexual, urinary, and bowel), and (b) perceived health state of men with prostate cancer one month following their radiation treatment. Methods: A prospective pre-test-post-test descriptive survey was conducted on a convenience sample of 73 men with prostate cancer who were recruited from a Regional Cancer Centre in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Participants receiving radiation treatment (brachy therapy, high dose radiation [HDR] and external beam radiation [EBR], or EBR alone) completed a questionnaire that elicited information pertaining to quality of life (QOL), symptom experiences, and perceived health state prior to, and one month after completion of their radiation treatment. Results: Post-treatment scores showed increased problems with urinary bother (. p<. 0.001) and function (. p<. 0.001), bowel bother (. p=. 0.002) and function (. p=. 0.001), and sexual function (. p<. 0.001). The results also suggested that urinary bother, sexual bother, and pain were independent predictors of the perceived health state of participants after radiation treatment. Discussion: Our findings suggest that prostate cancer treatment presents a challenge with regard to symptom experiences and perceived health state in men with prostate cancer. Therefore, strategies for patient education to assist men to cope with their symptoms and to provide them with support in the initial weeks following treatment are discussed. © 2011.