Health-related quality of life and psychiatric symptoms improve effectively within a short time in patients surgically treated for pituitary tumors—a longitudinal study of 106 patients

Monika Milian, Juergen Honegger, Christine Gerlach, Tsambika Psaras
Acta Neurochirurgica 2013, 155 (9): 1637-45; discussion 1645

BACKGROUND: Reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a common complaint in patients suffering from pituitary tumors. Although successful tumor treatment has been reported to lead to an improvement in perceived HRQoL, the temporal gradient at which these improvements occur has not been fully addressed.

METHODS: Using three validated health-related questionnaires (SF-36, SCL-90-R, QLS-H), we assessed HRQoL in 106 adult patients harboring pituitary tumors (mean age 48.0 ± 16.0 years) before as well as 3 and 12 months after initiation of treatment. The AcroQoL questionnaire was additionally applied in acromegalic patients.

RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in all but one scale (role-physical) of the SF-36 questionnaire and all but two scales (interpersonal sensitivity, paranoid ideation) of the SCL-90-R, the QLS-H score and the AcroQoL subscales within 3 months after surgical treatment. The trend to amelioration continued at the 12 month re-assessment, but did not reach statistical significance. Linear regression analyses revealed that younger age and male gender favor a more distinct improvement of HRQoL after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: HRQoL is considerably reduced before treatment for pituitary disease. Improvement is an early postoperative phenomenon and occurs within 3 months after treatment. Men and younger patients are more likely to improve within this time span.

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