Localized Prostate Cancer Patients’ Information in Urology Outpatient Practice—Results of a Nationwide Prospective Study in Germany


Purpose: Many studies demonstrate the importance of an empathic communication with prostate cancer patients and show various information needs. Most of the studies are cross sectional. The present analysis aims to 1) provide detailed prospective data on the actual quality of patient information provided by urologists in private practice in Germany; and 2) explore sociodemographic, communicative, and health- and treatment related determinants of the quality of provider-patient-communication. Methods: HAROW is a prospective, observational study designed to collect clinical data and patient reported outcomes of different treatment options (hormonal therapy, active surveillance, radiation, operation, watchful waiting) for newly diagnosed patients with localized prostate cancer under real conditions. At 6-month intervals, general clinical data, patient reported outcomes and patients’ assessment of patient-physician-communication are documented. A total of 1893 questionnaires at t0 (initial diagnosis) and t1 (six months after diagnosis) were analyzed. A linear regression model was estimated. Results: The mean age of the men was 68.38 years, and most lived with their spouse or partner (94.1%). Most patients were informed about treatment options (t0 96%, t1 93.2%), but much fewer received information about self-help groups (t0 36.4%, t1 45.8%), rehabilitation (t0 59.9%, t1 68%), and second medical opinion (t0 57.2%, t1 59.3%). Older men (p = 0.02) and men living alone (p = 0.048) received less information than others. Physician empathy (p = 0.000) and prostatectomy treatment (p = 0.020) were positively associated with receiving more information. Conclusion: There is room for improvement in terms of informing prostate cancer patients about rehabilitation, second medical opinion and self-help groups. Urologists being empathetic share more information with their patients. Some patients receive less information than others, especially older patients living alone.

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J. Jaeger, L. Weißbach, H. Pfaff and N. Ernstmann, "Localized Prostate Cancer Patients’ Information in Urology Outpatient Practice—Results of a Nationwide Prospective Study in Germany," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 4 No. 4A, 2013, pp. 3-10. doi: 10.4236/jct.2013.44A002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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