A pilot study for a randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of surgical treatments of the prostate.
OBJECTIVE:To assess the numbers of men in outpatients and subsequently undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) who were referred during 1993-94 and 1996-97, thereby assessing the feasibility of a subsequent study of treatment efficacy in men with bladder outlet obstruction secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia, prospectively randomized to the surgical treatment options, i.e. TURP, laser ablation of the prostate, transurethral needle ablation and T3 thermotherapy, to investigate treatment outcome, cost-efficacy and cost-benefit. PATIENTS AND METHODS:All patients considered and consenting for prostate surgery were reviewed prospectively with a view to inclusion in the proposed trial. The diagnosis was based on two estimates of flow rate from voids of >150 mL and from symptoms assessed using the International Prostate Symptom Score. All patients had TURP explained by a urological surgeon and nursing staff, and subsequently had further consultation with research staff. RESULTS:Patients seen in clinic as new referrals increased by 11% between the periods assessed, although the numbers undergoing TURP decreased by 19%. Of the 383 patients screened, who were on the waiting list for TURP, only 13 elected to enter the trial. Of the 383 men, 267 (67%) ultimately had prostate surgery, with 39 (10%) electing to continue with watchful waiting and 34 (9%) continuing with pharmacotherapy. CONCLUSION:Although more men with benign prostatic disease and lower urinary tract symptoms are being seen in clinics, the reduced proportion of patients continuing to surgical intervention will lead to increasing difficulty in carrying out randomized controlled clinical trials assessing surgical options. With ever more therapeutic options available, patients find it difficult to make decisions in both the clinical situation and when asked to enter a trial. Fully informed decisions by both the surgeon and the patient will only be possible when objective data are available from trials that investigate outcome, cost-efficacy and cost-benefit. This study suggests that when presented with more information and counselling, fewer men decide to undergo prostate surgery for symptomatic BPH.
Bryan, NP; Byrne, L; Hastie, KJ; Anderson, JB; Moore, KT; Chapple, CR
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