Quality-of-life tools underused by prostate cancer docs

July 19, 2013
Quality-of-life tools underused by prostate cancer docs
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.

(HealthDay)—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, M.D., M.P.H., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues used a nationally representative mail survey of specialists (313 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 percent of the respondents reported using prostate cancer nomograms, quality-of-life instruments, and life-expectancy prediction instruments, respectively. Compared with radiation oncologists, were significantly less likely to use quality-of-life instruments (odds ratio, 0.40). Compared with physicians who spent less than 15 minutes counseling patients, those who spent 30 minutes or more 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."

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