Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 165-176

First online:

Optimism and Prostate Cancer-Specific Expectations Predict Better Quality of Life after Robotic Prostatectomy

  • Andrea A. ThorntonAffiliated withResnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and Semel Institute, UCLA Email author 
  • , Martin A. PerezAffiliated withIndependent Practice, Perez and Associates
  • , Sindy OhAffiliated withLos Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • , Laura CrocittoAffiliated withDivision of Urology and Urologic Oncology, City of Hope

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We examined the relations among generalized positive expectations (optimism), prostate-cancer specific expectations, and prostate cancer-related quality of life in a prospective sample of 83 men who underwent robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) for prostate cancer. Optimism was significantly associated with higher prostate cancer-specific expectations, β = .36, p < .001. In addition, optimism and prostate cancer-specific expectations were independent prospective predictors of better scores on the following prostate cancer-related quality of life scales: Sexual Intimacy and Sexual Confidence; Masculine Self-Esteem (specific expectations only), Health Worry, Cancer Control, and Informed Decision Making (βs > .21, ps < .05). When considered simultaneously, both optimism and specific expectations contributed uniquely to better Health Worry and Cancer Control scores, optimism was a unique predictor of better Sexual Intimacy and Sexual Confidence scores, and specific expectations uniquely predicted higher scores on Informed Decision Making. Although optimism and prostate-cancer specific expectations are related, they contribute uniquely to several prostate cancer-related quality of life outcomes following RALP and may be important targets for quality of life research with this population.


Prostate cancer Quality of life Expectations Optimism Robotic prostatectomy