Assessment of quality of life, information, and supportive care needs in patients with muscle and non-muscle invasive bladder cancer across the illness trajectory.

To date, little research has examined the quality of life and cancer-associated needs of bladder cancer patients. The objective of the current study was to assess the quality of life (QoL), informational needs, and supportive care needs (SCN) in a large sample of muscle invasive (MIBC) and non-muscle invasive (NMIBC) bladder cancer survivors across the treatment trajectory (newly diagnosed and undergoing treatment, post-treatment follow-up, and treatment for advanced/recurrent disease).

Questionnaires were distributed to a convenience sample of patients registered with Bladder Cancer Canada, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or The Ottawa Hospital. Eligibility criteria included being > 18 years of age, English-speaking, and diagnosed with bladder cancer. The questionnaire included an adapted tool to measure informational needs, and validated measures for QoL (Bladder Utility Symptom Scale, BUSS) and SCN (Cancer Survivors' Unmet Needs Measure, CaSUN). QoL scores and unmet needs were calculated and compared between disease groups and cancer trajectory groups.

Of the 1126 surveys distributed, 586 were completed (response = 52%). Mean age was 67.3 ± 10.2 years, and 401 participants (68.7%) were male. The mean QoL score (BUSS) for the sample was 78.1 ± 17.9 (median 81.7). Respondents with MIBC had significantly lower QoL scores compared to NMIBC. Further, scores differed across the cancer phase groups with the follow-up surveillance group having significantly higher QoL scores compared to the newly diagnosed and advance/recurrent disease groups. The ten most highly ranked informational needs were from the medical, physical, and practical domains. Eighty-eight percent (95% CI 85-91%) of respondents reported at least one SCN, with a median of 12. Over half of the participants (54%, 95% CI 49-59%) had at least one unmet need and 15% had ≥ 10 unmet needs. Newly diagnosed participants had the highest number of unmet needs.

We found that the number of unmet supportive care needs and quality of life differed across cancer trajectory and disease groups. Future efforts should focus on the development and evaluation of tailored resources and programs to address the needs of people diagnosed and treated for BC.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2019 Feb 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Jiil Chung, Girish S Kulkarni, Robin Morash, Andrew Matthew, Janet Papadakos, Rodney H Breau, David Guttman, Jackie Bender, Jennifer M Jones

Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada., Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, University Health Network and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada., Wellness Beyond Cancer Program, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Canada., Departments of Surgery and Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada., Cancer Education Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada., Division of Urology, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada., Bladder Cancer Canada, Toronto, Canada., Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada. .