OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients undergoing retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) for clinically localized prostate cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From February 2002 to September 2003 all patients undergoing RRP in our department were invited to participate in the study; the data from 75 of them comprised the present analysis. For evaluating HRQoL the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36) was used. RESULTS: Comparing the baseline scores of the SF-36 domains to those at 3, 6 and 12 months, there was a statistically significant difference in 'physical function', 'role limitations due to physical health problems', 'role limitations due to emotional problems', and 'energy/fatigue'. There were no statistically significant changes in the follow-up values for the other scales of the questionnaire. However, the baseline scores overlapped the 12-month follow-up values for all the SF-36 scales. The mean SF-36 scores reported by incontinent patients were lower than those of the continent patients, although this trend was not statistically significant. At the 12-month follow-up some variables were independent predictors of lower mean scores of some SF-36 scales, i.e. age >65 years, education level less than secondary school, pathological extracapsular extension of cancer and erectile dysfunction. CONCLUSION: At 1 year after RRP, HRQoL levels in each of the SF-36 domains overlapped those of the baseline in >80% of patients. The age, educational level of patients, local extension of the tumour, and erectile dysfunction could significantly affect the HRQoL scores. © 2005 BJU International.
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