Military service and health-related quality of life among gay and bisexual prostate cancer survivors: Results from the Restore-2 study

Alex J. Bates, D. Mitteldorf, B. R.S. Rosser, C. W. Wheldon, E. J. Polter, M. W. Ross, K. M.C. Talley, R. Haggart, M. M. Wright, W. West, B. R. Konety

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Introduction There are notable disparities in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between gay and bisexual men (GBM) and heterosexual patients with prostate cancer (PCa); however, the role of past military service is unclear. This study examines HRQOL differences in GBM PCa survivors based on reported military service history. Methods We used data from the 24-month follow-up survey of the Restore-2 study, a clinical trial which evaluated a rehabilitation programme for GBM PCa survivors. PCa HRQOL was assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC-50) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment-Prostate (FACT-P). Mental health quality of life was assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) scale, while sexual functioning was measured using the Sexual Minorities and Prostate Cancer Scale (SMACS). Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted mean differences in HRQOL between GBM with and without a reported history of military service. Results In this cross-sectional study of 351 GBM PCa survivors, 47 (13.4%) reported a history of US military service. After adjusting for covariates, participants who reported a history of military service (compared with those with no military service) had clinically better scores on the FACT-P physical, social and emotional well-being domains, as well as higher total FACT-General, EPIC urinary bother and hormonal function scores. Additionally, men with a history of military service reported significantly fewer sexual problems, more sexual confidence and less urinary incontinence in sex. Conclusion This exploratory study provides the first evidence that GBM PCa survivors with a military background may have clinically better outcomes than those without military service. Potential reasons may include the structured support and healthcare access associated with military service, fostering resilience and well-being. These findings underscore the need for further research to elucidate how military service influences PCa HRQOL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002649
JournalBMJ Military Health
Early online dateFeb 28 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - Feb 28 2024


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