Understanding variation in patient-reported outcomes following radical prostatectomy may inform efforts to reduce morbidity after this procedure.
To describe patient-reported urinary outcomes following radical prostatectomy in the diverse practice settings of a statewide quality improvement program and to explore whether surgeon-specific variations in observed outcomes persist after accounting for patient-level factors.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This prospective population-based cohort study included 4582 men in the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative who underwent radical prostatectomy as primary management of localized prostate cancer between April 2014 and July 2018 and who agreed to complete validated questionnaires prior to surgery and at 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Data were analyzed from 2019 to June 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Patient- and surgeon-level analyses of patient-reported urinary function 3 months after radical prostatectomy. Outcomes were measured using validated questionnaires with results standardized using previously published methods. Urinary function survey scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 100 with good function established as a score of 74 or higher.
For the 4582 men undergoing radical prostatectomy within the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative who agreed to complete surveys, mean (SD) age was 63.3 (7.1) years. Survey response rates varied: 3791 of 4582 (83%) responded at baseline, 3282 of 4137 (79%) at 3 months, 2975 of 3770 (79%) at 6 months, and 2213 of 2882 (77%) at 12 months. Mean (SD) urinary function scores were 88.5 (14.3) at baseline, 53.6 (27.5) at 3 months, 68.0 (25.1) at 6 months, and 73.7 (23.0) at 12 months. Regression analysis demonstrated that older age, lower baseline urinary function score, body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) of 30 or higher, clinical stage T2 or higher, and lack of bilateral nerve-sparing surgery were associated with a lower probability of reporting good urinary function 3 months after surgery. When evaluating patients with good baseline function, the rate at which individual surgeons’ patients reported good urinary function 3 months after surgery varied broadly (0% to 54.5%; P < .001). Patients receiving surgery from top-performing surgeons were more likely to report good 3-month function. This finding persisted after accounting for patient risk factors.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, patient- and surgeon-level urinary outcomes following prostatectomy varied substantially. Documenting surgeon-specific variations after accounting for patient factors may facilitate identification of surgical factors associated with superior outcomes.