THURSDAY, Dec. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of survivors of thyroid cancer report inadequate pretreatment understanding, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Amanda Silver Karcioglu, M.D., from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues administered a cross-sectional survey to members of the ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc. and to individuals accessing the ThyCa website. Data were included for 1,412 survey respondents.

The researchers found that 89.2 percent of respondents provided free-text responses to the question regarding what they would tell someone newly diagnosed with the same condition. Of these, 37.2 and 40.9 percent, respectively, reported inadequate pretreatment plan understanding and that their treatment experience did not meet their expectations. Only 18.1 percent of respondents reporting inadequate pretreatment plan understanding had their treatment expectations met. There was an independent association observed between self-reported failure to have an understanding of treatment with failure of treatment to meet expectations in a multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 5.1). The likelihood of indicating that the initial treatment experience was on par with expectations was more than fivefold more likely for patients reporting a full understanding of their treatment plan, independent of multiple confounders.

“Patient understanding of treatment is independently associated with treatment meeting expectations, which in turn has been shown in other research to affect postoperative patient-reported health-related quality of life,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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