Assessing quality of life in men with clinically localized prostate cancer: Development of a new instrument for use in multiple settings

R. Brian Giesler, Brian J. Miles, Mark E. Cowen, Michael W. Kattan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Quality of life in prostate cancer patients with clinically localized disease has become the focus of increasing attention over the past decade. However, few instruments have been developed and validated to assess quality of life specifically in this patient population. Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to create a comprehensive, multi-scale quality of life instrument that can be tailored to the needs of the clinician/investigator in multiple settings. Design, subjects, and measures: Patients diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer were mailed a questionnaire consisting of new and previously validated quality of life items and ancillary scales. Data from returned questionnaires were analyzed and used to create a multi-scale instrument that assesses the effects of treatment and disease on urinary, sexual, and bowel domains, supplemented by a scale assessing anxiety over disease course/effectiveness of treatment. The instrument was then mailed to a second sample of prostate cancer patients once and then again two weeks later to assess test-retest reliability. To assess feasibility in clinical settings, the instrument was self-administered to a third patient sample during a urology clinic visit. Results: All scales exhibited good internal consistency and test-retest reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, and significant correlations with disease specific, generic health-related, and global measures of quality of life. Men with greater physiologic impairment reported more limitations in role activities and more bother. Scales were also able to differentiate patients undergoing different therapies. All scales exhibited negligible correlations with a measure of socially desirable responding. Additionally, the instrument proved feasible when used as a self-administered questionnaire in a clinical setting. Conclusions: The current instrument possesses brief multi-item scales that can be successfully self-administered in multiple settings. The instrument is flexible, relatively quick, psychometrically reliable and valid, and permits a more comprehensive assessment of patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-665
Number of pages21
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Prostate cancer
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Nursing(all)


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