Online Journal Club September Edition

The article for discussion this month focuses on quality of life in years 1, 2 and 3 after prostate cancer diagnosis.  This is an important topic, in particular, because of the widespread prevalence of prostate cancer among older men.  This longitudinal research used both quantitative and qualitative methods with a sample size of 21.  Results demonstrated that the patients in this study reported high levels of quality of life, with high ratings for overall physical functioning and health and they appeared to adjust to the diminished sexual function over the 3 year study interval.

The commentary suggests that nurses have a role in understanding that each individual will have a different prediagnosis level of and valuation of sexual activity/function.  Nurses are also well positioned to provide education to patients about common sexual problems encountered post prostate cancer treatment and the options for addressing these issues.

What is your reaction to this research?  Are the quantitative scales utilized and sample size of 21 enough to influence your practice?  Do you think that the findings are generalizable?  Will it change the way you care for patients who have had prostate cancer treatment? Tell us what you think.

You may review the podcast from this link:

https://soundcloud.com/bmjpodcasts/sexual-dysfunction-following

Article: Jakobsson L, Persson L, Lundqvist P. Daily life and life quality 3 years following prostate cancer treatment. BMC Nurs 2013; 12: 11.  http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6955/12/11

Commentary:  ebn.bmj.com/content/early/2013/…eb-2013-101420.full 

Comments about the topic can be posted on this blog, or using twitter at #ebnjc.

 

 

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  • Alison Twycross

    This is a useful study because it is longitudinal and includes qualitative and quantitative data. However, the small sample size does mean that care needs to be taken before generalising from the results.

    • nobleh

      I agree but how big a sample do you think we require for a study such as this? Maybe useful to have a smaller study with some flaws that helps us to think about the people who are reporting a good quality of life but who might get ‘lost’ in a bigger study where a larger proportion might report a poorer QoL – hope that makes sense!

  • nobleh

    This is a very interesting piece of research but the commentator makes some really good points related to small sample size and what we know already about quality if life in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Have a listen to the podcast above.

  • Jo Smith

    While I support previous comments, studies exploring the quality of life, using both psychometric quality of life measures and from experiences, in men with or recovering from prostate cancer is an important area of research. Although the number of participants is small, therefore is not possible to generalize from the findings of the psychometric measures, many of the issues raised are important considerations for nurse working with these patients.
    Jo Smith, Associate Editor EBN

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