Open Access Research article

Measuring prostate-specific quality of life in prostate cancer patients scheduled for radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy and reference men in Germany and Canada using the Patient Oriented Prostate Utility Scale-Psychometric (PORPUS-P)

Annika Waldmann1, Volker Rohde2*, Karen Bremner3, Murray Krahn4, Thomas Kuechler5 and Alexander Katalinic1

  • * Corresponding author: Volker Rohde

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, University Luebeck, Beckergrube 43-47, 23552 Luebeck, Germany

2 University Hospital of Giessen, Dept. of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Rudolf-Buchheim-Straße 7, 35392 Giessen, Germany

3 Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, EN13-241, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C4, Canada

4 Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, University of Toronto, 144 College Street, Room 600, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3M2, Canada

5 Department of General and Thoracic Surgery, Reference Center Quality of Life in Oncology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Arnold-Heller-Straße 7, 24105 Kiel, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:295  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-295

Published: 23 August 2009



The PORPUS-P is a short questionnaire for measuring prostate-specific quality of life (QoL), which was designed in Canada for use in prostate cancer (PC) patients. We aimed to generate a German version and compare PORPUS-P scores of German reference men from the general population, and German and Canadian patients with newly diagnosed PC who were scheduled to receive radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy (RT).


The study sample consisted of 988 reference men, 121 German and 66 Canadian PC patients scheduled for RT, and 371 German and 68 Canadian PC patients scheduled for RP. All men completed the PORPUS-P (German postal questionnaire, Canada personal interview). Data were gathered from PC patients before the start of therapy.


Canadian patients were better educated than the German patients, and fewer were retired. Patients scheduled to receive RT were older and more were retired. German RT patients had lower D'Amico risk scores and pre-treatment Gleason scores than RP patients, and Canadian RT patients had higher pre-treatment PSA than RP patients. Urinary and sexual dysfunction were seen in PC patients (especially RT patients), but were also common in the German reference men. Crude mean PORPUS-P scores differed statistically significant between German RT and RP and Canadian RP and RT patients, with RT patients having higher QoL scores. The differences in age-adjusted mean PORPUS-P scores between reference men and RP patients were not clinically significant, while RT patients had (clinically) significantly lower scores than the reference men.


The German translation of the PORPUS-P appears to be a short and feasible tool for assessing prostate-specific QoL. Although we found a similar response pattern, Canadian and German PC patients scheduled to receive RT or RP rated their pre-treatment quality of life on different levels, which reveals the need for national reference data. Problems in several QoL domains exist before treatment, and differ between PC patients scheduled for RT and RP.