Longitudinal Quality of Life in Low-Income Men in a State-Funded Prostate Cancer Treatment Program


Objectives. To evaluate longitudinal changes in disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among a cohort of low-income men treated for prostate cancer. Methods. Three hundred fifty-seven participants in a state-funded program that provides free prostate cancer treatment to uninsured, low-income men completed written surveys and telephone interviews containing validated measures of general and disease-specific HRQOL. Assessments were made at study enrollment and at subsequent times. Determinants of change were identified with repeated-measures analyses. Results. We found a significant interaction between the acute surgical treatment effects and time of assessment. Men exposed longer to the program’s supportive and educational interventions reported less severe declines in post-operative urinary and bowel HRQOL than others. Conclusions. Demographic covariates predicted general and disease-specific domains of HRQOL. Among patients treated with surgery, longer duration of pre-treatment program enrollment was associated with better outcomes.