Treatment Perceptions Vary in Patients With Adrenal Insufficiency

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Although hydrocortisone replacement will likely become a permanent part of daily life for patients with adrenal insufficiency, little is known about the beliefs and perceptions of treatment as well as the condition overall in this patient population.

To investigate this further, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study on illness perceptions and medication beliefs in 107 patients with primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency after treatment of Cushing’s syndrome or treatment of nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma.

They employed the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised and the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire to gather data.

Results revealed links between stronger beliefs about hydrocortisone’s necessity and stronger concerns about its adverse effects to attributions of more symptoms to adrenal insuffiency. Likewise, stronger medication beliefs and concerns were associated with patients perceiving adrenal insufficiency as being more cyclical as well as with the perception of more negative consequences of the condition and presence of stronger emotional representations.

Feelings of less personal control over adrenal insufficiency also appeared to be connected to stronger beliefs about hydrocortisone’s necessity, according to the data published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, while concerns about the treatment’s adverse effects were associated with lower perceived treatment control and lower illness coherence.

Interestingly, patients with Cushing’s syndrome demonstrated stronger beliefs about hydrocortisone’s necessity vs. those with Addison’s disease or nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma.

In the study, the researchers wrote that these data should be considered when determining treatment for this patient population and expressed hope that the results can help develop education and management programs that can improve quality of life. 

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Treatment Perceptions Vary in Patients With Adrenal Insufficiency

Clinicians currently lack knowledge about patients with adrenal insufficiency perceive their disease or how these perceptions may affect their beliefs about hydrocortisone replacement, which is the primary treatment for this condition. 

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers aimed to find out more about medication beliefs and illness perception in patients with various types of adrenal insufficiency to see if they could learn more that will help clinicians improve quality of life in this patient population.

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