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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-77

Patient concerns in treated hypothyroidism: A cross-sectional evaluation

1 MBBS Students, MAIMRE, Agroha, India
2 PGIMS, Rohtak, India
3 National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Consultant, Endocrinology, BRIDE, Karnal, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi- 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-0354.110590

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Background: Advances and improvements in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism have ensured the detection of a larger number of patients. The question that arises is that should we treat patients according to their Thyroid Stimulating Hormone level, which represents their "biochemical health" or according to their symptoms, which represent the health of the whole body? Aim: The current study aimed at exploring the concerns of patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Materials and Methods: The research was planned as a single center cross-sectional study at an endocrine center in a district headquarter (Karnal) in Haryana, India. One hundred consecutive hypothyroid patients attending the endocrine clinic were administered a pre-tested, structured questionnaire designed to capture personal, anthropometric, biochemical, and clinical data. Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated to find out the correlations between continuous variables. Independent Student's t-test was used for in-between group comparisons. Results: The average duration of hypothyroidism in 100 subjects was 5.12 ± 6.87 years. All patients were on L-Thyroxine supplementation. The commonest dose used was 100 mcg/day (n = 35), followed by 125 mcg/day (n = 20). The most important patient rated concern was fatigue (3.39 ± 1.053), followed by neuropathic pain (3.00 ± 1.363) and permanence of medication (2.77 ± 1.377). Other important concerns from the patient perspective were lack of weight loss, lack of well-being and feeling of being sick. Conclusions: The results will help sensitize physicians and endocrinologists towards eliciting a patient sensitive history, while focusing on clinical and social aspects of relevance of the patient's age and clinical picture.

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