Prostate cancer remains the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed among men in the US. Treatment for localized prostate cancer, ranging from surgical removal of the prostate to radiation therapy to eradicate the cancer cells within the prostate, can result in substantial changes in urinary, sexual, and bowel function. The long life afforded prostate cancer survivors renders the effects of that treatment more integral to their survivorship care. Yet patients are often unaware of the magnitude of their dysfunctions relative to expected outcomes after prostate cancer treatment. The objective of this study is to address the challenge of variations in health literacy for graphical representations of functional outcomes among prostate cancer patients. This project will generate data visualization summary sheets to translate results from health-related quality of life (HRQOL) surveys in a way that is understood by prostate cancer patients and prostate cancer providers. This project represents an innovative initiative to integrate HRQOL measurement into the clinical care of prostate cancer patients. This initiative will improve patient understanding of treatment outcomes, enable self-efficacy and self-care for these detriments, and may enhance informed decision-making among those pursuing treatment for poor or bothersome secondary dysfunctions.
This study informs an initiative to integrate the evaluation of health-related quality of life after prostate cancer treatment into clinical care. This requires creation of summary sheet "dashboards" that conform to various patient health literacy and numeracy levels. The use of these dashboards may improve patient-provider communication, patient self-efficacy, the subjective distress patients experience as a result of their treatment- induced dysfunctions, and the timing of delivery of therapies for those dysfunctions.
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