Repetitive prostatic massage therapy for chronic refractory prostatitis: the Philippine experience

Tech Urol. 1999 Sep;5(3):146-51.


Patients frustrated with failure of traditional therapy for prostatitis have traveled to the Philippines and elsewhere for repetitive prostatic massage combined with antibiotic therapy. The aim of our study was to evaluate prospectively the response of patients who traveled to Manila to undergo this treatment. Twenty-six patients consented and were registered by the Prostatitis Foundation (B.H.) and subsequently evaluated (J.C.N., J.D.) prior to and following treatment (A.E.F.). Evaluation at baseline and after treatment consisted of standardized history and previously validated prostatitis-specific Symptom Frequency Questionnaire (SFQ) and Symptom Severity Index (SSI), International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS) and Quality of Life (QoL) questionnaire, the O'Leary Sexual Function Inventory (SFI), and a Subjective Global Assessment (SGA). Treatment in Manila consisted of triweekly prostatic massage combined with specific culture directed and/or empirical antimicrobial therapy for 6 to 12 weeks. Twenty-two patients completed at least one follow-up assessment and 12 patients completed 2-year assessment (average follow-up of 17 months in 22 patients). There was a significant decrease in average symptom severity (SSI) by 4 months that continued for 2 years, but less improvement in symptom frequency (SFQ) and quality of life (QoL), and no significant improvement in voiding symptoms (I-PSS) or sexual function (SFI) at time of last assessment. Forty-six percent of the 22 evaluable patients had >60% decrease (significant improvement) in symptom severity (SSI), whereas 27% had similar significant improvement in frequency of symptoms (SFQ) when last assessed. Thirty-three percent reported marked subjective improvement (SGA) at last evaluation. Of the 12 patients who completed the 2-year follow-up, 5 of the original 26 had a significant and sustainable improvement in objective and subjective measurements of frequency and severity of symptoms. The combination of prostatic massage and antibiotics for treating difficult refractory cases of prostatitis may be promising, but its ultimate value needs to be confirmed. Studies in patients with less refractory and shorter duration disease may allow us to predict who will respond to this therapeutic approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage* / methods
  • Philippines
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatitis / drug therapy
  • Prostatitis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents