The psychological impact of prostate biopsy: Prevalence and predictors of procedure-related distress

Psycho-Oncology Aug 12, 2017

Sharp L, et al. – Quantification was performed of the prevalence of prostate biopsies. In addition, this research determined factors related to procedure–related distress, in men who were to undergo prostate biopsies in routine clinical practice. A notable distress was found after a prostatic biopsy. Some men, including those reporting high health anxiety and those awaiting definitive results, could gain an advantage from additional support around the time of and/or, following the prostate biopsy.


  • This research enrolled men who had undergone prostate biopsy for follow-up of a raised prostate specific antigen test result and/or abnormal digital rectal examination in six centres in Ireland.
  • The candidates completed questionnaires.
  • Biopsy-related psychological distress was estimated through the Impact of Event Scale (IES).
  • An IES score ≥9 was reported as a prominent biopsy-related distress.
  • Logistic regression determined the predictors of significant distress.


  • 335 men completed questionnaires.
  • 49% reported notable biopsy-related distress.
  • It was greater in men whose biopsy result indicated cancer (59%) and those who did not have a definitive result (54%) than those with a negative result (35%; p<0.001).
  • The odds of significant distress were three-times higher in men with cancer (OR=3.33, 95%CI 1.83-6.04) and more than twice as high in men without a definitive result (OR= 2.61, 95%CI 1.43-4.78) compared to men with a negative result, in multivariable analyses.
  • Men with intermediate (OR=3.19, 95%CI 1.85-5.53) or high (OR=7.10, 95%CI 3.45-14.57) health anxiety (propensity to worry about one's health) exhibited markedly raised odds of biopsy-related distress.

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