Quality-of-Life Tools Underused by Prostate Cancer Docs
(HealthDay News) – More than half of radiation oncologists and urologists in the United States use prostate cancer nomograms, but only about one-quarter use quality-of-life and life-expectancy prediction instruments, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.
Simon P. Kim, MD, MPH, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues used a nationally representative mail survey of prostate cancer specialists (313 radiation oncologists and 328 urologists) to assess clinical implementation of quality-of-life instruments, prostate cancer nomograms, and life-expectancy prediction tools in late 2011.
The researchers found that 55%, 27%, and 23% of the respondents reported using prostate cancer nomograms, quality-of-life instruments, and life-expectancy prediction instruments, respectively. Compared with radiation oncologists, urologists were significantly less likely to use quality-of-life instruments (odds ratio, 0.4). Compared with physicians who spent <15 minutes counseling patients, those who spent ≥30 minutes were significantly more likely to use quality-of-life instruments, prostate cancer nomograms, and life-expectancy prediction tools (odds ratios, 2.57, 1.83, and 1.85, respectively).
"Although prostate cancer nomograms have been implemented into clinical practice to some degree, the use of quality-of-life and life-expectancy tools has been more limited," the authors write. "Increased attention to implementing validated instruments into clinical practice may facilitate shared decision making for patients with prostate cancer."