Differences in Physicians’ and Patients’ Perception of Acute Hypothyroid Symptoms Induced by Thyroid Hormone Withdrawal in Thyroid Cancer Patients: A Multicenter Survey in Korea1
A multi-center survey in 10 hospitals was conducted in Korea to determine if there were differences in physicians’ and patients’ perception of acute hypothyroid symptoms induced by thyroid hormone withdrawal (THW) in thyroid cancer patients. The study revealed some relevant information:
of the patients said they experienced physical and emotional symptoms of acute hypothyroidism
Some patients mistakenly attributed symptoms such as fatigue, edema and constipation to RAI ablation alone even though they may have been caused by THW.
of the doctors said acute hypothyroidism could negatively impact patients’ daily activities
Felt they were endurable. Therefore, few doctors prescribed ways to mitigate physical and emotional symptoms of acute hypothyroidism.
Some Important Points to Consider
Be Aware of Perception Gaps: A significant perception gap exists between physicians and patients regarding the severity of the impact of acute hypothyroidism during THW. Many physicians are aware that THW causes acute hypothyroidism but feel the symptoms are endurable. It is important for physicians to understand the impact acute hypothyroidism caused by THW may have in patients.
Understand Patient Misconceptions: Sometimes patients attribute symptoms associated with acute hypothyroidism to other causes like radioactive iodine. It is important that patients with thyroid cancer should be informed of the potential symptoms of acute hypothyroidism during and after preparation by THW.
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