Psychological impact of 131I radioprotection measures on thyroid cancer patients
Background and aims. It is very well know nowadays that despite all the good and qualitative information available, the patients who are supposed to be treated with radioiodine for differentiated thyroid cancer suffer from a lot of concerns prior the treatment. The aim of our study is to investigate the level of anxiety and lessening of the concerns pre and post RIT (radioiodine therapy) using a dedicated, special designed questionnaire.
Methods. A cross-sectional study of 54 differentiated thyroid cancer patients was conducted. Patients who met the inclusion criteria were invited to complete the radioprotection questionnaire pre and post RIT. The questionnaire comprises two sections (pre and post radioiodine treatment) with specific questions regarding aspects of radioprotection measures and the impact on the overall well-being. For uniform distribution of variables we used Pearson correlation and for monotonic relationship between variables, Spearman correlation.
Results. The pre-treatment questionnaire reported a strong confidence of the patients in the medical team, good and accurate information regarding the treatment, >50 % suffering from anxiety and concerns before the radioiodine treatment. The post treatment questionnaire revealed no fear of isolation, a lot of useful information and most of the patients would undergo another treatment, if necessary and also recommend it to others.
Conclusion. The milestone in having a good and compliant patient remains a very good communication between the medical team and the patient. We are able to influence and change things and have fewer patients with fear from radioactivity and treatment concerns if we dedicate enough time to give them the adequate information in the best way so it will be correctly received.