Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men and accounts for most surgical procedures in uro-oncology. Stressful sequelae of radical prostatectomy are incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Hormone ablation and radiation therapy are also known stressors. Mental stress has a low prevalence compared to other tumor entities. It is highly probable that there is an underexpression of verbally reported emotional experiences. Therefore, a low-threshold access to psycho-oncological services and accurate identification of patients with mental comorbidities is important. The aim of this study was to identify the distress level with clarification of the stress in patients with prostate cancer.
Prospective evaluation of prostate cancer patients (n = 81, mean age 69 years) with regard to stress level, stress factors and the need for care using the Distress Thermometer, a standardized ultrashort stress-screening questionnaire.
The mean stress level was 4.4 points. In total, 56% of patients indicated a stress level ≥5, i. e. a clinically relevant psychological burden was indicated. Main stressors were sexual problems (35%), reduced mobility (30%), pain (27.5%), tingling paresthesia (26%) and worries (26%).
The psychological burden of prostate cancer patients is not as high as in other solid organ malignancies. However, some patients have a significantly increased psychosocial stress level. Identifying this subgroup and clarifying the correlation with specific stress and risk factors are important tasks of clinical care.
Der Urologe. Ausg. A. 2017 Aug 01 [Epub ahead of print]
D L Dräger, N N Harke, K-D Sievert, C Protzel, O W Hakenberg
Klinik und Poliklinik für Urologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, Schillingallee 35, 18057, Rostock, Deutschland. ., Klinik und Poliklinik für Urologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, Schillingallee 35, 18057, Rostock, Deutschland.