School of Health and Society, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Sweden, and treatment is negatively affecting the patients' quality of life. Even so, long term experiences are sparse and implications for nursing practice are little known. The aim of this study was to determine areas of functioning and factors impacting quality of life, QOL, during and five years after radical prostatectomy (RP) using a quality of life questionnaire and a specific module for prostate cancer. A longitudinal study was performed with consecutively included Swedish men from baseline and after RP treatment (n=222) from 2003 to 2011 to obtain their opinions on quality of life. Data was gathered through a mail out - mail in procedure at baseline, 3 months, 1-3 and 5 years after treatment with a response rate of 94.14% - 75.2%. One reminder was sent on each occasion. Identified areas with increased functioning after five years were emotional and social functioning. QOL ratings did not change over the years. Sexual activity and functioning decreased and hormonal treatment-related symptoms increased. Impact on QOL was found regarding emotional and social functioning, nausea/vomiting, pain and hormone-related symptoms. Increasing age, living with a partner and educational level had no significant impact on QOL. Implications for nursing are to initially focus on physical problems and at times for follow-up visits pay attention also to emotional and social aspects of life. To be able to make a difference in the patient’s life, nurses need to bridge the gap between in-hospital treatment and everyday life outside hospital.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Health and Society, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden; Tel: 46 4420 40 25; Fax: 46 4420 40 43; E-mail: Liselotte_Jakobsson@Hkr.se