Primary care and urology patients with the male pelvic pain syndrome: symptoms and quality of life.
ABSTRACT We assessed symptoms and health related quality of life in men who received prostatitis-prostatodynia diagnoses at primary care and urology visits, and compared those in whom pain-discomfort had versus had not resolved approximately 1 month later.
Telephone interviews were done with 357 men an average of 1 month after a prostatitis-prostatodynia diagnosis was made at a health maintenance organization visit. The interview included the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index, and pain and health related quality of life measures.
The most common pain location was the pubic-bladder area. Mean scores on most health related quality of life measures were below average, and higher pelvic pain and urinary symptom scores were associated with worse quality of life. This episode of pelvic pain was the first lifetime episode in fewer urology (22%) than primary care (38%) patients (p = 0.02). Urology patients had longer symptom episodes (p = 0.000), more days with pain in the last month (p = 0.002) and higher National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index pain scores (p = 0.002). Men with pain in the testicles, penis or between the rectum and testicles at the visit, and with longer symptom duration before the visit were significantly more likely to have continued pain between the visit and interview.
Pelvic pain is often a persistent, recurrent condition that can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. The average symptom severity in men with pelvic pain in primary care and urology settings is lower than that in tertiary care samples.