Objectives: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an increasingly important endpoint in prostate cancer care. However, pivotal issues that are not fully assessed in existing HRQOL instruments include irritative urinary symptoms, hormonal symptoms, and multi-item scores quantifying bother between urinary, sexual, bowel, and hormonal domains. We sought to develop a novel instrument to facilitate more comprehensive assessment of prostate cancer-related HRQOL.
Methods: Instrument development was based on advice from an expert panel and prostate cancer patients, which led to expanding the 20-item University of California-Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index (UCLA-PCI) to the 50-item Expanded Prostate Index Composite (EPIC). Summary and subscale scores were derived by content and factor analyses. Reliability and validity were assessed by test-retest correlation, Cronbach's alpha coefficient, interscale correlation, and EPIC correlation with other validated instruments.
Results: Test-retest reliability and internal consistency were high for EPIC urinary, bowel, sexual, and hormonal domain summary scores (each r >/=0.80 and Cronbach's alpha >/=0.82) and for most domain-specific subscales. Correlations between function and bother subscales within domains were high (r >0.60). Correlations between different primary domains were consistently lower, indicating that these domains assess distinct HRQOL components. EPIC domains had weak to modest correlations with the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12), indicating rationale for their concurrent use. Moderate agreement was observed between EPIC domains relevant to the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Prostate module (FACT-P) and the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUA-SI), providing criterion validity without excessive overlap.
Conclusions: EPIC is a robust prostate cancer HRQOL instrument that complements prior instruments by measuring a broad spectrum of urinary, bowel, sexual, and hormonal symptoms, thereby providing a unique tool for comprehensive assessment of HRQOL issues important in contemporary prostate cancer management.