The following is a summary of “Longitudinal Changes in Quality of Life After Ureteroscopy for Nephrolithiasis” published in the December 2022 issue of Urology by Sperling et al.

Given the lack of prospective data on patient-reported outcomes after surgical intervention with ureteroscopy, it was important to evaluate changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in nephrolithiasis patients.

Adults who underwent ureteroscopy (URS) and had either renal or ureteral calculus were prospectively included from 2017 to 2020. At enrolment, 1-, 6-, and 12- months after starting treatment, participants completed the PROMIS-29 profile, which assesses physical function, exhaustion, pain interference, depressive symptoms, anxiety, capacity to engage in social roles and activities and sleep disruption. The results were shown as T-scores (normalized to the US population) and were compared at each time point to the mean for the US population (50), using a one-sample Welch’s t-test and between each pairwise time point comparison using a Wilcoxon signed rank test.

The PROMIS-29 survey was completed by 69 individuals in total at enrolment. Participants exhibited substantially different ratings at enrolment compared to the US population mean for physical function, exhaustion, pain interference, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and sleep disruption (all P< .05), but not for capacity to engage in social roles and activities. Only pain interference (P<.01) and fatigue (P =.03) in pairwise comparisons showed improvement from enrolment to one month. However, all characteristics showed improvement over a longer period, from enrollment to 12 months (pairwise comparisons, all P<.05), except for symptoms.

When patients with nephrolithiasis underwent URS, the PROMIS-29 profile responded to changes in HRQOL, with PROMIS scores improving for up to a year. This knowledge may be applied to patient counseling to set expectations for the healing process.