Missingness in the expanded prostate cancer index short form (EPIC-26) – prevalence, patterns, and explanatory factors

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu

1 Lataukset (Pure)


Background: Researchers and clinicians using common clinical assessments need to attend to the prevalence of missing data to ensure the validity of the information gathered. The Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Short Form (EPIC-26) is a commonly used measurement scale used for assessing patients’ quality of life, but the measure lacks comprehensive analysis on missing data. We aimed to explore the quantity of missing answers in EPIC-26 and to characterize patterns and possible explanations of missing data in the survey. Methods: The survey sample consisted of 625 Finnish prostate cancer patients who participated in a study with a 1-year follow-up with three measurement points (0, 6, and 12 months). Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study population and missingness level. A logistic regression was performed for each EPIC domain to study factors related to missingness during the follow-up. Results: Proportions of missing answers in EPIC-26 were low (3.1–3.9%) between survey rounds. As much as 37% of patients left at least one question unanswered during their follow-up. The hormonal domain produced the most missing answers. Questions about breast tenderness/enlargement (question 13.b.), hot flashes (question 13.a.), frequency of erections (question 10.), and ability to reach orgasm (question 8.b.) were most frequently left unanswered. Higher age, lower education level, no relationship, more severe cancer, lower function scores in some EPIC domains, lower treatment satisfaction or self-rated health were associated with missingness. Conclusions: Questions 13.b. and 13.a. might be considered female-specific symptoms, thus difficult to comprehend unless patients had already experienced side effects from androgen deprivation therapy. Questions 10. and 8.b. might be difficult to answer if the patient has been sexually inactive. To improve the measure’s validity, the questionnaire’s hormonal section requires additional explanation that the inquired symptoms are common treatment side effects of anti-androgen therapy; questions 8–10 require a not-applicable category for sexually inactive patients.

JulkaisuHealth And Quality of Life Outcomes
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


  • Jufo-taso 1

!!ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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