The impact of an outpatient palliative care consultation on symptom burden in advanced prostate cancer patients

Sriram Yennurajalingam, Bradley Atkinson, Jessica Masterson, David Hui, Diana Urbauer, Shi Ming Tu, Eduardo Bruera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objectives: There are limited studies characterizing cancer-related symptoms in outpatient advanced prostate cancer patients. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the impact of an outpatient palliative care (PC) consultation on symptoms in patients with advanced prostate cancer. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 55 consecutive patients with advanced prostate cancer seen in our institution's outpatient PC center. Information regarding demographics, disease status, Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) scores, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status, laboratory data, and pharmacological interventions were analyzed. Results: The median age of the study's patients was 66 years old, with 73% Caucasian ethnicity. All patients had metastatic disease and 96% had received prior cytotoxic chemotherapy. The most frequently occurring symptoms upon presentation were pain, fatigue, and drowsiness (>50%). Pain and fatigue were also the most severe symptoms, each having median ESAS scores of 7 (on a 0-10 scale). We instituted a median of 3 pharmacological interventions per patient, with a median of 15 days to follow-up assessment. At follow-up, patients reported significant symptom improvements in pain, drowsiness, fatigue, depression, sleep, sense of well-being, and anxiety. Conclusions: Based on our preliminary data, we conclude that patients with advanced prostate cancer referred to PC experience severe and clinically significant symptoms. An outpatient PCconsultation is associated with significant symptom improvement in this subset of a distressed population. Future prospective studies are warranted to further describe symptom burden and the role for outpatient PC for advanced prostate cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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