Sociodemographic characteristics and health related quality of life in men attending prostate cancer support groups

Dana Katz, Theresa M. Koppie, David Wu, Maxwell V. Meng, Gary D. Grossfeld, Natalia Sadesky, Deborah P. Lubeck, Peter R. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prostate cancer can be associated with anxiety, depression and fears of recurrence and side effects of treatment. Support groups may help meet the needs of patients with cancer by providing treatment information and emotional support. We describe men in prostate cancer support groups and compare them to a national registry. Materials and Methods: Men attending prostate cancer support groups in the San Francisco Bay area completed a questionnaire including sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, health related quality of life items, satisfaction with treatment, relief of prostate cancer symptoms and bother from perceived side effects of treatment. Patients in support groups were compared to men enrolled in a national prostate cancer registry (Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor). Results: Men attending support groups had higher annual income and education levels, lower median serum prostate specific antigen and higher cancer grades than men in Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor. Clinical stage was comparable for the 2 groups. Men in support groups were satisfied with treatment and alleviation from symptoms. Adjusting for ethnicity, marital status, age and type of treatment, sexual function scores were higher in men who attended support groups (p = 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in bowel and urinary function between groups, although urinary function approached statistical significance at p = 0.05. Sexual and bowel bother scores indicated less bother for men in support groups (p ≤0.025). Conclusions: Men enrolled in support groups have unique sociodemographic characteristics. Their health related quality of life appears to be better than that of other men with prostate cancer. Whether this is related to support group participation is not known. Additional studies are required to determine whether routine support group participation improves outcomes in men with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2092-2096
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Quality of life
  • Self-help groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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