Patients with prostate cancer are generally positive about their initial, hospital-based follow-up care. However, efforts should be made to improve symptom management, health promotion, and physician's knowledge about patients' life. These findings point to areas where prostate cancer follow-up care can be improved.
We surveyed 402 patients with localized prostate cancer participating in a randomized controlled trial comparing specialist versus primary care-based follow-up. For the current study, we used patient-reported data at the time of the first follow-up visit at the hospital, prior to randomization. We assessed patients' ratings of the quality of follow-up care using the Assessment of Patient Experiences of Cancer Care survey. This survey includes 13 scales about different aspects of care and an overall rating of care. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with perceived follow-up quality.
To develop optimal cancer survivorship care programs, this study assessed the quality of prostate cancer follow-up care as experienced by patients shortly after completion of primary treatment.
Patients reported positive experiences at first follow-up for 9 of 13 scales, with mean (M) scores ranging from 79 to 97 (on a 0-100 response scale). Patients reported most frequently (over 70%) suboptimal care regarding symptom management (84%; M = 44, SD = 37), health promotion (75%; M = 45, SD = 39), and physician's knowledge about patients' life (84%; M = 65, SD = 23). Overall, patients' lower quality of follow-up ratings were associated with younger age, higher education level, having more than one comorbid condition, having undergone primary surgery, and experiencing significant symptoms.