Association between adherence to radiation therapy quality metrics and patient reported outcomes in prostate cancer

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Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases


Background: Prior studies have shown significant variability in the quality of prostate cancer care in the US with questionable associations between quality measures and patient reported outcomes. We evaluated the impact of compliance with nationally recognized radiation therapy (RT) quality measures on patient-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes in the Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Surgery and Radiation (CEASAR) cohort. Methods: CEASAR is a population-based, prospective cohort study of men with localized prostate cancer from which we identified 649 who received primary RT and completed HRQOL surveys for inclusion. Eight quality measures were identified based on national guidelines. We analyzed the impact of compliance with these measures on HRQOL assessed by the 26-item Expanded Prostate Index Composite at pre-specified intervals up to 5 years after treatment. Multivariable analysis was performed controlling for demographic and clinicopathologic features. Results: Among eligible participants, 566 (87%) patients received external beam radiation therapy and 83 (13%) received brachytherapy. Median age was 69 years (interquartile range: 64–73), 33% had low-, 43% intermediate-, and 23% high-risk disease. 28% received care non-compliant with at least one measure. In multivariable analyses, while some statistically significant associations were identified, there were no clinically significant associations between compliance with evaluated RT quality measures and patient reported urinary irritative, urinary incontinence, bowel, sexual or hormonal function. Conclusions: Compliance with RT quality measures was not meaningfully associated with patient-reported outcomes after prostate cancer treatment. Further work is needed to identify patient-centered quality measures of prostate cancer care.

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