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Anxiety, depression, urinary continence, and sexuality in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy: preliminary findings.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the relationship between psychological distress, namely anxiety and depression, with urinary continence and recovery of erectile function in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP).

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data from 33 consecutive patients who underwent RP in a single tertiary-referral academy between 01/2018 to 01/2019. We used the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15), the Sexual Complaints Screener for Men (SCS-M), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), validated questionnaires for the assessment of sexual function, anxiety, and depression experiences, respectively. These questionnaires were administered at the pre-surgical visit, after surgery, and at intermediate follow-ups (three, six, and twelve months).

RESULTS: The analysis of the questionnaires completed during follow-up shows that erectile function is the most affected, with 90% erectile dysfunction (ED) at three months after surgery. In terms of emotional states, anxiety prevails in the first months following surgery and is statistically significantly associated with incontinence (p = 0.02). Depressive symptoms, on the other hand, appear later and prevail over anxiety at six months after surgery, although not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: In the early post-surgical phase anxiety and ED are the most frequently detected components, while depressive experiences and decreased desire, typical of later stages, have not yet fully emerged.

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