An online survey of Hypothyroid patients demonstrates prominent dissatisfaction
The study was coordinated by ATA (American Thyroid Association) and was published in “Thyroid” journal last June. (This journal has a scientific impact >7 – meaning it is a very credible journal in the market).
How was it undertaken?
An online survey for hypothyroid patients was posted on the American Thyroid Association Web site and forwarded to multiple groups. 12,146 patients responded.
Respondents were asked to rank satisfaction with their treatment for hypothyroidism and their treating physician.
They also ranked their perception regarding physician knowledge about hypothyroidism treatments, need for new treatments, and life impact of hypothyroidism on a scale of 1–10.
Respondents reported the therapy they were taking, categorized as T4, T4 and liothyronine (T4 + T3), or desiccated thyroid extract (NDT).
They also reported sex, age, cause of hypothyroidism, duration of treatment, additional diagnoses, and prevalence of symptoms.
-A total of 12,146 individuals completed the survey.
-The overall degree of satisfaction was 5 (interquartile range [IQR] = 3–8).
-Among respondents without self-reported depression, stressors, or medical conditions (n = 3670), individuals taking NDT reported a higher median treatment satisfaction of 7 (IQR = 5–9) compared to other treatments.
-At the same time, the T4 treatment group exhibited the lowest satisfaction of 5 (IQR = 3–7), and for the T4 + T3 treatment group, satisfaction was 6 (IQR = 3–8).
-Respondents taking NDT were also less likely to report problems with weight management, fatigue/energy levels, mood, and memory compared to those taking T4 or T4 + T3.
-A subset of patients with hypothyroidism are not satisfied with their current therapy or their physicians.
-Higher satisfaction with both treatment and physicians is reported by those patients on NDT.
-While the study design does not provide a mechanistic explanation for this observation, future studies should investigate whether preference for NDT is related to T3 (triiodothyronine) levels or other unidentified causes.
Sarah J. Peterson, Anne R. Cappola, M. Regina Castro, Colin M. Dayan, Alan P. Farwell, James V. Hennessey, Peter A. Kopp, Douglas S. Ross, Mary H. Samuels, Anna M. Sawka, Peter N. Taylor, Jacqueline Jonklaas, and Antonio C. Bianco An Online Survey of Hypothyroid Patients Demonstrates Prominent Dissatisfaction, THYROID, Volume 28, Number 6, 2018