Psychosocial predictors of utilization of medical rehabilitation services among prostate cancer patients - Abstract

Institut und Poliklinik für Medizinische Psychologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).


Prostate cancer patients often suffer from treatment-associated morbidities which lead to severe physical and mental impairments. Nevertheless, only a relatively small percentage of this patient population uses medical rehabilitation services; there is still a lack of evidence concerning possible factors causing use and non-use of services. Therefore, this study exploratively aims at the identification of predictors of the use of rehabilitation services in a cohort of prostate cancer patients.In a prospective multicentre study to evaluate outpatient oncological rehabilitation services, n=242 prostate cancer patients who used outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation services ("users") were compared with n=253 prostate cancer patients who did not use rehabilitation ("non-users") at measure point 1. At the beginning of the rehabilitation programme and at the end of primary treatment, respectively, patients completed a self-report questionnaire consisting of standardized instruments designed to assess the following independent variables: autonomy striving (TPF), self-efficacy expectancy (GSE), distress (distress thermometer), anxiety and depression (HADS-D), quality of life (SF-8), social support (SSUK), rehabilitation motivation: readiness to change, knowledge, scepticism regarding rehabilitation services (PAREMO-20). Illness- and treatment-related variables (tumour state, comorbidity, primary therapies) were documented by the attending oncologists.Only few significant and effective differences between rehabilitation users and non-users are observed: Non-users are suffering more often from gastrointestinal comorbidities (18% vs. 2%, w=0.25). Both patient groups report severe quality-of-life impairments, particularly with respect to their physical functioning. Non-users achieve significantly higher scores on the scale "scepticism" (PAREMO-20) than users (eta²=0.19). The scale "scepticism" is also identified as the dominant predictor of utilization of rehabilitation services (R²=0.23). Suffering from comorbid diseases of the digestive system, self-efficacy expectation and employment status emerge as further significant predictors (R²=0.12, and R²=0.02 each). With increasing scepticism and in case of comorbidity the probability of rehabilitation utilization was decreasing.Besides illness-related variables prostate cancer patients' expectancies regarding the effectiveness of rehabilitation services to alleviate their medical conditions seem to be more relevant for rehabilitation utilization than sociodemographic variables or psychosocial distress. Further studies should investigate the replicability of these results and should focus on the doctor-patient-communication and the amount of information about goals and concepts of rehabilitation services prostate cancer patients are told. For clinical practice of information-giving about rehabilitation services it can be recommended not only to assess patients' physical and mental conditions but also to explore their expectations and concerns about rehabilitative treatment options in order to remove any doubts and to be able to optimize oncological care.

Article in German.

Written by:
Lehmann C, Beierlein V, Hagen-Aukamp C, Kerschgens C, Rhee M, Frühauf S, Otto J, Graefen M, Krüll A, Berger D, Koch U, Bergelt C.   Are you the author?

Reference: Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2011 Dec 15. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1285893

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22174099 Prostate Cancer Section