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Insurance and quality of life in men with prostate cancer: data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor.

Sadetsky N, Lubeck DP, Pasta DJ, Latini DM, DuChane J, Carroll PR. Insurance and quality of life in men with prostate cancer: data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor. BJU international. 2008 Mar 1; 101(6):691-7.

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of medical insurance coverage on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, as insurance status has been shown to be related to clinical presentation, and types of treatments received for localized prostate cancer, but the relationship of insurance and QoL has not been explored sufficiently. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor (CaPSURE), a national longitudinal database registry of men with prostate cancer, were used for this study. Men who were newly diagnosed at entry to CaPSURE and completed one questionnaire before treatment, and one or more afterwards, were included. Insurance groups specific to age distribution of the study population were assessed, i.e. Medicare, preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs), fee for service (FFS), and the Veterans Administration (VA) for the younger group, and Medicare only, Medicare plus supplement (+S), and HMO/PPO for the older group. Associations between patients'' clinical and sociodemographic characteristics and insurance status were evaluated by chi-square and analysis of variance. Relationships between insurance status and HRQoL outcomes over time were evaluated by multivariate mixed model. RESULTS: Of 2258 men who met the study criteria, 1259 were younger and 999 were older than 65 years. More than half of the younger patients belonged to an HMO or PPO (42.2% and 32.5%, respectively), with the remainder distributed between Medicare, FFS and VA. In the older group most men belonged to Medicare only and the Medicare +S groups (22.4% and 58.8%, respectively). There was greater variation in clinical risk categories at presentation by insurance groups in the younger group. In the multivariate analysis, insurance status was significantly associated with changes in most HRQoL outcomes over time in the younger group, while in the older patients the effect of insurance diminished. Men in the VA and Medicare systems had lower scores at baseline and a steeper decline in Physical Function, Role Physical, Role Emotional, Social Function, Bodily Pain, Vitality, and General Health domains over time, controlling for type of initial treatment received, timing of HRQoL assessment, number of comorbidities, clinical risk at presentation, and income. CONCLUSION: Insurance was independently related to changes in a wide range of HRQoL outcomes in men aged < 65 years treated for prostate cancer. With the latest advances in early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, clinicians and researchers should be aware of the specific groups of patients who are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of treatment and subsequent decline in functioning. The present findings could provide important tools for understanding the process of recovery after treatment for prostate cancer, and identifying needs for specific services.

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