A prospective study of psychological distress after prostate cancer surgery

Stefano Occhipinti, Leah Zajdlewicz, Geoffrey D. Coughlin, John W. Yaxley, Nigel Dunglison, Robert A. Gardiner, Suzanne K. Chambers

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Men treated for prostate cancer experience heightened psychological distress and have an increased risk of suicide. Management of this distress and risk is crucial for quality urological care. Objective: To identify risk indicators for poorer trajectories of psychological adjustment and health-related quality of life (QoL) after surgery for localised prostate cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: Patients were newly diagnosed with localised prostate cancer scheduled for surgical treatment. Patients were assessed at baseline (pre-surgery) and 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months post–surgery. Measurements: Assessment measures included sociodemographics, domain-specific and health-related QoL, and psychological distress. Mixed effects regression models were used to analyse the data. Results and Limitations: A total of 233 patients provided data for this analysis (Mage = 60 years, standard deviation [SD] = 4.02; MPSA = 7.37 ng/mL). At baseline, the prevalence of high psychological distress was 28% reducing to 21% at 24 months. Before treatment, younger age, more comorbidities, and worse bowel function were related to greater psychological distress; and younger age and better urinary, sexual, and bowel function were related to better health-related QoL. By contrast, for changes over time, only bowel function was important with better bowel function predicting decreasing psychological distress for men. Conclusions: Regular distress screening is indicated over the 24 months after surgery for localised prostate cancer. Care pathways for men with prostate cancer need also to respond to age-specific concerns and health problems associated with comorbidities in aging men. Focussed symptom control for bowel bother should be a priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2389-2395
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • distress, longitudinal
  • oncology, prostatectomy
  • prostate cancer
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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