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Different patient versus provider perspectives on living with Cushing's disease.

Pituitary 2024 Februrary 6
CONTEXT: Patients with Cushing's disease (CD) face challenges living with and receiving appropriate care for this rare, chronic condition. Even with successful treatment, many patients experience ongoing symptoms and impaired quality of life (QoL). Different perspectives and expectations between patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) may also impair well-being.

OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in perspectives on living with CD between patients and HCPs, and to compare care goals and unmet needs.

DESIGN: Memorial Sloan Kettering Pituitary Center established an annual pituitary symposium for pituitary patients and HCPs. Through anonymous pre-program surveys distributed at the 2020 and 2022 symposia, patients and HCPs answered questions related to their own sense, or perception of their patients' sense, of hope, choice, and loneliness in the context of living with CD.

PARTICIPANTS: From 655 participants over two educational events, 46 patients with CD and 116 HCPs were included. Median age of both groups was 51 years. 78.3% of the patients were female vs. 53.0% of the HCPs.

RESULTS: More patients than HCPs reported they had no choices in their treatment (21.7% vs. 0.9%, P < 0.001). More patients reported feeling alone living with CD than HCPs' perception of such (60.9% vs. 45.5%, P = 0.08). The most common personal care goal concern for patients was 'QoL/mental health,' vs. 'medical therapies/tumor control' for HCPs. The most common CD unmet need reported by patients was 'education/awareness' vs. 'medical therapies/tumor control' for HCPs.

CONCLUSIONS: CD patients experience long term symptoms and impaired QoL which may in part be due to a perception of lack of effective treatment options and little hope for improvement. Communicating experiences and care goals may improve long term outcomes for CD patients.

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