Purpose: To identify the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) domains that radical prostatectomy (RP) impacts most negatively and to define the recovery of these domains over 30 months of observation.
Patients and methods: A total of 1,200 RP patients completed the Patient-Oriented Prostate Utility Scale-Psychometric (PORPUS-P; range 0-100, higher is better), a prostate cancer-specific HRQoL measure, prior to RP and at 0-3 (T1), 3-9 (T2), 9-18 (T3) and 18-30 (T4) months post-RP. HRQoL changes were examined using paired t tests and a mixed-effect growth curve model. Multivariable analyses were performed to investigate demographic and treatment factors predicting the change in HRQoL.
Results: Mean baseline PORPUS-P score, 83.1, fell to 66.5 (p < 0.001) at T1. Over time HRQoL improved but did not return to baseline (T4 mean 76.4, p < 0.001). Domain analysis revealed that sexual function (p < 0.001), sexual drive (p < 0.001), energy (p = 0.001) and bladder control (p < 0.001) failed to return to baseline at T4. Sexual function demonstrated the greatest impairment overall. The multivariable model revealed Black men experienced greater losses in global HRQoL compared with White men (coefficient -2.77, 95% CI -5.00 to -0.54, p = 0.015). High baseline HRQoL, pro-erectile aid use and bilateral nerve-sparing were significantly associated with smaller reductions in HRQoL post-RP.
Conclusion: Overall HRQoL, sexual drive, sexual function, energy and bladder control do not return to preoperative levels within 30 months post-RP. Black patients experience the greatest reductions in HRQoL. HRQoL losses may be ameliorated by use of pro-erectile aids. These findings help to identify at-risk patient populations and inform survivorship programs.