OBJECTIVES: The study presented focuses on patients' psychosocial status after a prostate cancer diagnosis that underwent a bilateral orchiectomy.
METHODS: We evaluated the psychosocial implications of 89 patients with prostate cancer after performing castration and a bilateral orchiectomy.
RESULTS: Patients suffered significantly more from sleep disorders during hospitalisation when compared to their time prior to an orchiectomy (p<0.0005). There were some increases in the severity of sleep disorder after discharge (level of evidence p<0.05). However, no additional medications for sleep disorders were required. Additionally, there was a significant reduction in the abuse of medication (p<0.001). Ten per cent of the patients were in the care of a psychologist or a psychiatrist before their diagnosis, and 21% asked for the help of a psychologist or a psychiatrist after having a bilateral orchiectomy. The occurrence of mood disorders is also very different than the occurrence of sleep disorders. Mood disorders occurred much less often after orchiectomy and discharge (p>0.085) compared with the period before surgery. Forty per cent of the patients had mood disorders before their operation, while only 37% still had these after discharge. There was a significant decrease in abuse of medication for anxiety. Twenty-four per cent of the patients took medication during hospitalisation, and only 10% continued after orchiectomy.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study show that patients who were notified about their cancer diagnosis, particularly their health status, exhibited moderate stress and psychological impact.