Current Research in Medicine

The Differences in Quality of Life in Prostate Cancer Project: Methods and Design of a Multidisciplinary Population-Based Follow-up Study

Christine Brennan, Evrim Oral, Elizabeth Fontham, James L. Mohler, Jeannette T. Bensen, Merle Mishel and Neal Simonsen

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2012.104.114

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 3, Issue 2

Pages 104-114


Problem statement: Numerous studies have examined the Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in Prostate Cancer (PCa) survivors but few have examined potential differences between races. The causes for alterations in HRQoL in PCa survivors have not been thoroughly explored either, limiting insight regarding potential means to improve their quality of life. Using a large sample of approximately equal numbers of Caucasian-American (CA) and African-American (AA) PCa survivors, the Quality of Life in Prostate Cancer Project (Q-PCaP) is designed to determine if there is a disparity in HRQoL between these groups. Furthermore, QPCaP will determine to what extent certain factors, specifically Healthy Life Behaviors (HLBs), socioeconomic determinants and cultural characteristics of AA and CA PCa survivors affect HRQoL and provide an explanation for any potential disparities observed. Approach: Q-PCaP is a follow-up study built upon a population-based study, the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP). PCaP enrolled men with newly-diagnosed PCa from specific regions of these two states from September 2004 through August 2009. Q-PCaP is designed to collect follow up HRQoL data from the Louisiana cohort of PCaP 3-6 years after their initial baseline interview. Subjects’ current HLBs, social, economical, physical and emotional status, including prostate-related symptoms and other comorbidities, as well as their self-reported experience regarding PCa treatment and health care, will be collected via telephone interviews. The presence and degree of any disparity in the HRQoL between AA and CA PCa survivors will be evaluated. Results: The study will generate a rich archive of follow-up data for a well-characterized population-based cohort of men with PCa to improve understanding of the determinants and disparities in HRQoL. Primary data collection activities are expected to continue through January 2013, yielding approximately 900 enrolled PCa survivors. Conclusion: HLBs are potentially modifiable factors affecting the HRQoL of PCa survivorship. Identifying those that contribute the most to HRQoL and instituting interventions to alter “unhealthy” behaviors may make it possible to not only improve overall HRQoL of PCa survivors, but to reduce racial disparities.


© 2012 Christine Brennan, Evrim Oral, Elizabeth Fontham, James L. Mohler, Jeannette T. Bensen, Merle Mishel and Neal Simonsen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.