Aims: To determine the severity and prevalence of persisting self-reported long-term unmet supportive care needs in a population-whole cohort of men with previously diagnosed prostate cancer and their partners.
Methods: Participants were drawn from the NSW Prostate Cancer Care and Outcomes Study, a longitudinal prospective cohort study. Eligible men were aged less than 70 years, diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 to 2002 while resident in NSW. 15-year follow-up of supportive care needs were undertaken with consenting men, and their partners, using the Cancer Survivors’ Unmet Needs (CaSUN) and the Cancer Survivors’ Partners Unmet Needs (CaSPUN) surveys. Baseline lifestyle, clinical and treatment factors were collected for patients and used as baseline predictors of future unmet needs with logistic regression.
Results: Of the 350 participating men, mean age and follow up time were 75.8 and 15.6 years. 138 partners completed the CaSPUN survey at 15-year follow-up. All partners who completed the CaSPUN survey were female with an average age of 75.6 years. 37.4% of patients and 30.1% of partners reported at least one unmet need at 15-year follow-up.
Most frequently reported unmet needs for men and partners were exhibited in the Comprehensive Cancer Care (25.4%) and the Partner Impact (28.3%) domains. Logistic regression revealed clinical factors of disease, specifically a higher PSA score at diagnosis of 20+ (OR 5.74 CI 1.61-20.5) as the only significant predictor of future unmet needs.
Conclusion: Men expressed greater need to ensure clinicians are working together to coordinate care and help to address problems in sexual function. Partners expressed the need for information to be more readily available. This research suggests that a notable proportion of prostate cancer survivors, and their partners, may benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and opportunities to address changes in sexual function with a sexual health professional.