Radical prostatectomy results in greater persistence of urinary and sexual dysfunction (and to a minor degree, bowel dysfunction) than other forms of prostate cancer treatment. These physical side effects create bother, which is the degree of annoyance, dysfunction, or discomfort associated with treatment aftermath.
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between post-radical prostatectomy urinary, sexual, and bowel dysfunction, and the resultant bother to determine which of the physical dysfunctions bothers men the most.
Seventy-two men were recruited and surveyed 6 weeks after radical prostatectomy. Outcome measures included self-efficacy (Stanford Inventory of Cancer Patient Adjustment), social support (Modified Inventory of Socially Supportive Behaviors), uncertainty (Uncertainty in Illness Scale), and physical function and bother (UCLA Prostate Cancer Index).
Sexual dysfunction had the highest prevalence among treatment side effects caused by radical prostatectomy. However, it was urinary dysfunction in terms of incontinence that was the most bothersome.
Given various treatment options for prostate cancer, men who undergo radical prostatectomy initially decide that the physical dysfunction is worth the benefits of improved likelihood of survival; however, they do so without firsthand knowledge of the associated bother. Patients should be informed of the transient and unrelenting physical symptoms and associated bother that are produced after radical prostatectomy.