Part I. Health-related quality of life in bladder cancer patients: general and cancer-specific instruments.

Although survival outcomes are the primary outcomes to determine the effectiveness of treatment options, quality of life (QoL) is gaining in importance in addition to classic oncological outcomes. The present review aims to state and critically assess the challenges in health-related QoL (HRQoL) assessment especially in bladder cancer (BC) patients.

General QoL-instruments do not address concerns specific to cancer patients or BC patients. Domains, such as sexual functioning, embarrassment, self-consciousness, psychological distress, and urinary incontinence, are not adequately covered by any of the available instruments.With these QoL-instruments becoming increasingly specialized, the general aspects of QoL and possible unanticipated adverse effects are no longer likely to be accurately assessed.Sex-specific requirements have not been properly addressed by these QoL-instruments.HRQoL is reported to be lower in the elderly population, which may be due to their associated comorbidities and limitations, rather than treatment-related issues.

Due to their specifications, BC-specific instruments need to be used together with general QoL instruments to assess overall well being and disease- and treatment-specific QoL.Assessment of age-specific HRQoL is essential to understanding the QoL burden in each age group.QoL assessment calls for more detailed sex-specific questions to accurately address the HRQoL dimensions in men and women alike.

Current opinion in urology. 2021 May 06 [Epub ahead of print]

Kristin Zimmermann, Hadi Mostafaei, Axel Heidenreich, Hans U Schmelz, Shahrokh F Shariat, Keiichiro Mori

Department of Urology, Federal Armed Services Hospital Koblenz, Koblenz, Germany Department of Urology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria Department of Urology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan Research Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran Department of Urology, Uro-Oncology, Robot-Assisted and Specialized Urologic Surgery, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA Department of Urology, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA Karl Landsteiner Institute of Urology and Andrology, Vienna, Austria Department of Urology, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.