Objective: To determine the occurrence of mental distress related to prostatitis in Finnish men.
Subjects and methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted of 2500 men aged 20--59 years living in the two northernmost provinces of Finland (Oulu and Lapland). The final response rate was 75% (1832 men).
Results: The fear of undetected prostate cancer was reported by 17% of the men in the population who had had prostatitis, a value significantly higher (P < 0.001) than in healthy men. Fears of having a sexually transmitted disease and suicidal thinking were also slightly more common. The men who had had prostatitis preferred to be alone in a public toilet during voiding (58% vs 44%, P < 0.001). Erectile dysfunction was reported by 43% of the men with symptomatic prostatitis and decreased libido by 24%. Self-assessment of personality, adjusted for age, showed that the men with prostatitis were more often busy and nervous than the healthy controls (P < 0.001), and that they had a more meticulous attitude to life and its problems. Marital difficulties were reported by 17% of the men who had had prostatitis at some point in their lives, and 4% were convinced that their illness had caused their divorce. Socio-economic status and social well-being had no apparent influence on the occurrence of prostatitis.
Conclusions: This survey showed that psychological stress is common in men with prostatitis. Urologists and general practitioners should consider that a consultation with a psychiatrist may be appropriate for selected men with prostatitis.