Mapping disadvantage: identifying inequities in functional outcomes for prostate cancer survivors based on geography

Kendrick Koo, Nathan Papa, Melanie Evans, Michael Jefford, Maarten IJzerman, Victoria White, Sue M. Evans, Eli Ristevski, Jon Emery, Jeremy Millar

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prostate cancer is the most common internal malignancy in Australian men, and although most patients have good survival outcomes, treatment toxicities can impair function, leading to diminished quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. Socioeconomic disadvantage and geographical remoteness have been shown to be related to worse oncologic outcomes, and it is expected that they would similarly influence functional outcomes in prostate cancer. Methods: Using data from the Victorian Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry (n = 10,924), we investigated functional outcomes as measured by the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite-26 (EPIC-26) following prostate cancer treatment, focusing on associations with socioeconomic status and geographical remoteness and controlling for clinicopathologic characteristics. A single composite score was developed from the five separate EPIC-26 domains for use in geo-mapping. Results: A total of 7690 patients had complete EPIC-26 data, allowing mapping hotspots of poor function using our composite score. These hotspots were observed to relate to areas of socioeconomic disadvantage. Significant heterogeneity in outcomes was seen in urban areas, with hotspots of good and poor function. Both socioeconomic disadvantage and geographical remoteness were found to predict for worse functional outcomes, although only the former is significant on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Geo-mapping of functional outcomes in prostate cancer has the potential to guide health care service provision and planning. A nuanced policy approach is required so as not to miss disadvantaged patients who live in urban areas. We have demonstrated the potential of geo-mapping to visualise population-level outcomes, potentially allowing targeted interventions to address inequities in quality of care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number283
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Functional outcomes
  • Geomapping
  • Health policy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Socioeconomic disadvantage
  • Survivorship

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