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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-22

A cross-sectional survey to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices in patients with hypothyroidism in India

1 CARE Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Dr. Khandelwal's Endocrinology Clinic, New Delhi, India
3 Abbott India Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Upal Vyas
Abbott India Limited
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/trp.trp_25_17

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Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) in patients with hypothyroidism in India. Methods: This was a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional KAP study conducted in patients with hypothyroidism across 16 centers in India. The questionnaire was validated initially by a panel of experts, followed by 120 patients with primary hypothyroidism. Results: Out of 500 patients enrolled, about three-fourths (72.4%) were women. Most patients had low levels of knowledge (66.6%), were quite concerned (46.6%), and practiced a moderate level of precaution (77.8%). Around 18.4%, 26.2%, 27.8%, and 37.6% of patients had incorrect/no knowledge that weight gain, fatigue, muscle aches/pain, and dry skin were effects of hypothyroidism, respectively. Patients had poor knowledge regarding various risks associated with hypothyroidism such as abnormal menstruation (41.6%), depression (47%), hypercholesterolemia (65.6%), and medications causing hypothyroidism (74.2%). Most patients (91.4%) affirmed the need to consult a physician for or seek medical advice before treatment initiation. However, a small percentage did not agree on testing pregnant women (20.2%) and family members (26.2%) for hypothyroidism. Most patients (93.2% and 92.6%) practiced compliance to frequency and timings for medications; however, one-thirds reported missing doses. There was lack of knowledge-seeking behavior both from online sources (57.4%) and treating doctors (24.2%). Significant associations were found between education and the levels of knowledge, concern, and precautions taken. Conclusion: This study identified significant gaps in the knowledge about the risks associated with hypothyroidism, importance of laboratory investigation, and dietary precautions.

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