Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

Post Surgical Recovery of Cushing Syndrome

July 12, 2021
 

Rachel Acree, Caitlin M Miller, Brent S Abel, Nicola M Neary, Karen Campbell, Lynnette K Nieman
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2021, bvab109
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab109

Abstract

Context

Cushing syndrome (CS) is associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) even after surgical cure.

Objective

To characterize patient and provider perspectives on recovery from CS, drivers of decreased HRQOL during recovery, and ways to improve HRQOL.

Design

Cross-sectional observational survey.

Participants

Patients (n = 341) had undergone surgery for CS and were members of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation. Physicians (n = 54) were Pituitary Society physician members and academicians who treated patients with CS.

Results

Compared with patients, physicians underestimated the time to complete recovery after surgery (12 months vs 18 months, P = 0.0104). Time to recovery did not differ by CS etiology, but patients with adrenal etiologies of CS reported a longer duration of cortisol replacement medication compared with patients with Cushing disease (12 months vs 6 months, P = 0.0025). Physicians overestimated the benefits of work (26.9% vs 65.3%, P < 0.0001), exercise (40.9% vs 77.6%, P = 0.0001), and activities (44.8% vs 75.5%, P = 0.0016) as useful coping mechanisms in the postsurgical period. Most patients considered family/friends (83.4%) and rest (74.7%) to be helpful. All physicians endorsed educating patients on recovery, but 32.4% (95% CI, 27.3-38.0) of patients denied receiving sufficient information. Some patients did not feel prepared for the postsurgical experience (32.9%; 95% CI, 27.6-38.6) and considered physicians not familiar enough with CS (16.1%; 95% CI, 12.2-20.8).

Conclusion

Poor communication between physicians and CS patients may contribute to dissatisfaction with the postsurgical experience. Increased information on recovery, including helpful coping mechanisms, and improved provider-physician communication may improve HRQOL during recovery.

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