Background: The objective of this study is the effectiveness of multidisciplinary rehabilitation on treatment-related adverse effects after completed radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer (PCa).
Methods: In a single-centre oncology unit in Odense, Denmark, 161 PCa patients treated with radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy were randomly assigned to either a programme of two nursing counselling sessions and two instructive sessions with a physical therapist (n=79) or to usual care (n=82). Primary outcome was Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC-26) urinary irritative sum-score. Before radiotherapy, pre-intervention 4 weeks after radiotherapy, and after a 20-week intervention, measurements included self-reported disease-specific quality of life (QoL; EPIC-26, including urinary, bowel, sexual, and hormonal symptoms), general QoL (Short-form-12, SF-12), pelvic floor muscle strength (Modified Oxford Scale), and pelvic floor electromyography. Intension-to-treat analyses were made with adjusted linear regression.
Results: The intervention improved, as compared with controls, urinary irritative sum-score 5.8 point (Cohen's d=0.40; P=0.011), urinary sum-score (d=0.34; P=0.023), hormonal sum-score (d=0.19; P=0.018), and the SF-12 Physical Component Summary, d=0.35; P=0.002. Patients with more severe impairment gained most. Pelvic floor muscle strength measured by electromyography declined in both groups, P=0.0001.
Conclusion: Multidisciplinary rehabilitation in irradiated PCa patients improved urinary and hormonal symptoms, and SF-12 physical QoL.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01272648.