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Men with urinary difficulties often suffer from anxiety, depression: NUH study

Most benign prostatic hyperplasia sufferers indicated mixed to dissatisfied feelings for their quality of life in the survey.

SINGAPORE: About one in four men with urinary difficulties also suffer from psychological effects like anxiety and depression, a new National University Hospital (NUH) study found.

Conducted from 2012 to 2013, the study found that patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — a prostate disease which leads to urinary symptoms — were found to suffer poorer health-related quality of life and poor psychological well being.

Using the International Prostate Symptoms Score (IPSS) survey, a widely used survey, the results showed that a large percentage indicated mixed to dissatisfied feelings for their quality of life, with a score of 3.3 out of 6, with 3 and above indicating mixed or dissatisfied feelings.

“With this report, doctors could now be more forthcoming in asking their BPH patients about their psychological well-being, especially to those patients who may not be able to relate their feelings to the disease,” said Professor E Kesavan, Head and Senior consultant, Department of Urology, NUH.

“Also, we hope that this will raise public awareness of such psychological effects of BPH, educating them to seek treatment,” he added.

The study was done as a final year project for then National University of Singapore (NUS) student Mr Pinto Julian, alongside his NUS and NUH professors.

It administered surveys on 97 male patients, aged 50-87 years old, with the majority being Chinese.

About 15 per cent of BPH patients will undergo surgery, but the surgery rate has dropped by 50 per cent since the mid 90s, said Prof Kesavan.