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Quality of Life After Radical Prostatectomy

LouAnn M. Rondorf-Klym
Joyce Colling
ONF 2003, 30(2), E24-E32 DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.E24-E32

Purpose/Objectives: To examine physical and psychosocial factors that affect the quality of life (QOL) for men 12-24 months after radical prostatectomy treatment for prostate cancer.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: An entire population from one tumor registry.

Sample: Of the 132 men meeting inclusion criteria, 97 men responded, with 91 meeting analysis requirements. Analysis was completed on the Caucasian sample (n = 88) with a mean age of 66 years. Most men were married, lived with a spouse or partner, and had a high level of education.

Methods: A survey was developed to assess men 12-24 months prostatectomy. The tumor registry mailed the survey, which was completed at home, and participants returned it in a prestamped, addressed envelope.

Main Research Variables: Major hypotheses in the causal model were that age, sexual function, urinary function, and sexual appraisal would only have indirect effects on QOL, whereas urinary function appraisal, self-esteem, anger suppression, perceived social support, depression, and health locus of control would directly affect QOL.

Findings: As analyzed by path analytic techniques, the hypothesized causal model explained 72% variance in the QOL variable. Perceived social support, self-esteem, and health locus of control were significant predictors of QOL. Urinary function appraisal contributed indirectly through health locus of control. Contrary to the hypotheses, anger suppression and depression were not significant predictors of QOL.

Conclusions: After radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer, perceived social support, self-esteem, and health locus of control may influence men's QOL. Future research is needed to increase understanding about the adaptation trajectory of men's response to the impact of prostate cancer.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses can help patients by providing a thorough assessment of each patient's values that may affect QOL before any intervention begins, using research-based evidence regarding potential side effects of interventions, clear and concise information from a variety of sources that addresses the possible concerns of men and their spouses, and focused counseling that addresses patient-specific problems.

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