Background: Prostate cancer treatments are associated with a range of symptoms and physical side-effects. Cancer can also adversely impact on psychological wellbeing. Because many prostate cancer-related symptoms and side-effects are potentially modifiable, we investigated associations between symptoms and psychological wellbeing among prostate cancer survivors.
Methods: Postal questionnaires were distributed to men diagnosed with prostate cancer 2-18 years previously identified through cancer registries. General and prostate cancer-specific symptoms were assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PR25, with higher symptom scores indicating more/worse symptomatology. Psychological wellbeing was assessed by the DASS-21. Associations between symptoms and each outcome were investigated using multivariate logistic regression, controlling for socio-demographic and clinical factors.
Results: A total 3348 men participated (response rate = 54%). Seventeen percent (95%CI 15.2%-17.9%), 16% (95%CI 15.1%-17.8%) and 11% (95%CI 9.5%-11.8%) of survivors scored in the range for depression, anxiety and distress on the DASS scales, respectively. In multivariate models, risk of depression on the DASS scale was significantly higher in men with higher urinary and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)-related symptoms, and higher scores for fatigue, insomnia and financial difficulties. Risk of anxiety on the DASS scale was higher in men with higher scores for urinary, bowel and ADT-related symptoms and fatigue, dyspnoea and financial difficulties. Risk of distress on the DASS scale was positively associated with urinary, bowel and ADT-related symptoms, fatigue, insomnia and financial difficulties.
Conclusions: Cancer-related symptoms significantly predict psychological wellbeing among prostate cancer survivors. Greater use of interventions and medications and to alleviate symptoms might improve psychological wellbeing of prostate cancer survivors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology