Life quality in thyroidal patients of Semey city, Kazakhstan

Life quality is one of the important and common issues in any countries. Kazakhstan is developing country with a rapidly growing economy and one of the main strategies is to improve the life quality of people. The implementations of social, economical and political strategies, improvement of peoples' health, according to the disease profiles of patients should be carefully taken into account, in order to optimize the care system in developing countries including Kazakhstan. Furthermore, rehabilitation of the sick people is also very important, to provide support for patients who wish to be full member of society. In our study we sought to estimate life quality of patients according thyroid hormonal disorders and their own assessment of health.

On the other hand, thyroid disorders cause profound physical, mental, and social changes for patients. For example, physical problems, such as cardiac feature, tachycardia, muscle dystonia, general fatigue, decreased performance and sleepiness occur even during the remission of diseases. These problems, in combination with emotional reactions to illness, limit a patient's activities and lower quality of life (QoL). Using "Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36), several studies showed declining QoL scores in the "Physical health" and "Mental health" scales in thyroid disorders, and it decreases with age. In addition, physical and emotional changes during illness progression can reportedly alter the ability to undertake the normal activities of daily life. These findings suggest that, given the changes in QoL, careful support of thyroid patients is essential, particularly from the society.

Furthermore, hypothyroidal and hyperthyroidal disorders experience different health problems during illness. It has been reported that hypothyroidism, compared with hyperthyroidism, has different problems, such as constant lethargy, overpowering sleepiness, significant impairment of memory and attention, inability to engage in thinking activity, obesity. On the contrary, in case of hyperthyroidism develops irritability, anxiety, restlessness, palpitations, sweating, thirst, trembling of the limbs, muscle weakness. However, the effect of thyroidal complications on patients' QoL has received less attention. In order to recover the QoL in case of thyroid disorders should be considered to improve their health rehabilitation.

With these considerations, in this study we evaluated level of life quality in case of hypo- and hyper- thyroidism, difference in QoL between hormone deficiency and thyrotoxicosis, QoL of patients in groups with satisfied and unsatisfied opinion based on own their estimation.


Study Participants Before the study, ethical approval was obtained from the local special ethic committee of Semey State Medical University.

The study was conducted from September 2011 to March 2012. Subjects included 132 participants with thyroid hormonal disorders (69 hypothyroidism and 63 hyperthyroidism), who are treated in out-patient clinics of Semey city (Kazakhstan), clinics in Semey city and who were recruited to participate in the study. At initial examination, details of the study were explained to each participant. Informed consent was obtained from all participants before enrollment in the study. A total of 7 members who declined to participate, who did not answer all the questions and 12 participants did not return the questionnaire were excluded from the analysis. Three participants who did not report the number of deliveries were also excluded from analysis. In total, 132 patients with thyroid disorders were included for final analysis. Questionnaire Administration

Each participant of study was asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. In addition to duration of suffering, social factors were also elicited including age, occupational status, individual income, and whether he was satisfied by current health condition.

Every participant study were asked to complete the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 (Kazakh and Russian edition of SF- 36). The questionnaire consists of 36-items generating 8 dimensions of functioning: "Physical functioning" (10 items); "Rolephysical" (4 items); "Bodily pain" (2 items), "General health" (5 items), "Vitality" (4 items), "Social functioning" (2 items); "Roleemotional" (3 items) and "Mental health" (5 items) (Table 1, (16)). These 8 subscales are separately scored from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest).

Statistical Analysis

To evaluate the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, we used a general linear model in each subscale. According patients' satisfaction with own heath was compared the difference in the groups by using chi-square test. Values of p <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 20.0 software (SPSS Semey State Medical University, Kazakhstan).

Table 1 - Dimensions in the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 Questionnaire


Item number


Physical functioning


Extent to which health interferes with a variety of activities in life



Problems with work or other daily activities as a result of physical health in the last week

Bodily pain


Extent of bodily pain in the last week

General health


Personal evaluation of general health



Perception of degree of fatigue or energy in the last week

Social functioning


Extent to which health interferes with normal social activities in the last week



Problems with work or other activities as a result of emotional problems in the last week

Mental health


General mood or affect, psychological well-being in the last week


Subject attributes

Table 2 shows subject attributes. A total 132 study participants were 30 (22.72%) males and 102 (77.28%) females. Age distribution was ranged from 15 to 82 years old at beginning of the study, and its mean was 47.81 ± 12.4. While 69 patients had hypothyroidism (52.27%), 63 patients had hyperthyroidism (47.73%).

In the present study, 80 participants (60.6%) were unsatisfied and 52 participants (39.4%) were satisfied with own health. As to other attributes, according the nationality 87 (65.9%) patients were Kazakh, 37 (28.0%) nationalities.

Russian and 8 (6.06%) were with other

Table 2 - Background of 132 subjects who completed the SF-36


Number (%)




Thyroid disorders Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism

Age (years) Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism

30 (22.72%)

102 (77.28%)

69 (52.27%)

63 (47.73%)

49,78 ± 12,29

45,65 ± 12,36


Health estimation Satisfied Unsatisfied

52 (39.4%)

80 (60.6%)





87 (65.9%)


37 (28.0%)

8 (6.06%)

Subscales of QoL and hormone status

Subscales that reflect "Physical functioning (p= 0,272)", "Rolephysical (p=0.706)", "Bodily pain (p=0.475)", "General Health

"Role-Emotional (p=0.816)", "Mental Health (p=0.784)" showed no

significant difference between hypo-


and hyper- thyroidism (Table

(p=0.568)", "Vitality (p=0.980)",

Table 3 - T-test of QoL in groups w

"Social Functioning (p=0.876)",

ith hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.


Hypothyroidism (n=69)

Hyperthyroidism (n=63)


Mean ± Std. Deviation

Mean ± Std. Deviation


Physical Functioning (PF)

58,99 ± 25,417

63,65 ± 22,899


Role-Physical (RP)

46,38 ± 34,640

44,05 ± 36,121


Bodily Pain (BP)

63,39 ± 22,566

60,68 ± 20,658


General Health (GH)

40,71 ± 14,687

42,32 ± 17,530


Vitality (VT)

58,48 ± 14,202

58,41 ± 16,010


Social Functioning (SF)

65,22 ± 19,632

64,68 ± 19,513


Role-Emotional (RE)

48,31 ± 34,10

49,72 ± 36,354


Mental Health (MH)

62,20 ± 13,729

62,86 ± 13,658



39,62 ± 7,817

39,91 ± 7,773



44,34 ± 8,004

44,35 ± 7,736


Subscales of QoL and health status

We sought to investigate contentment and dissatisfaction of health in patients with hormonal disorders based their own subjective health assessment. Every participant was questioned by “Are you

satisfied with your health?” By answers “yes (52)” or “no (80)” all subjects were divided into two groups and then we compared life quality in these groups (Table 4).


Table 4 - Distribution of subjects with thyroid hormonal disorders in groups with "satisfied" and "unsatisfied" health conditions




Sig. (2-sided)


27 (39.13%)

25 (39.68%)


42 (60.86%)

38 (60.31%)





In the following subscales “Physical Functioning (p= 0,103)", "Bodily pain (p=0.422)", "Social Functioning (p=0.092)", "Mental Health (p=0.065)" and "Mental component of health (p=0.48)" we found no significant differences, but in subscales that reflect "Role-physical (p=0.017)", "General Health (p<0.001)", "Vitality (p=0.017)", "Role- Emotional (p=0,05)" and "Physical component of health (p=0,009)" showed significant differences between satisfied and unsatisfied answers (Table 5).

Table 5 - T-test of QoL in groups with satisfied and not satisfied health conditions


Satisfied (n=52)

Unsatisfied (n=80)

Mean ± Std. Deviation

Mean ± Std. Deviation


Physical Functioning (PF)

65,48 ± 22,908

58,44 ± 24,862


Role-Physical (RP)

54,33 ± 33,840

39,38 ± 35,080


Bodily Pain (BP)

63,98 ± 20,398

60,88 ± 22,447


General Health (GH)

48,94 ± 15,741

36,63 ± 14,403


Vitality (VT)

62,31 ± 12,226

55,94 ± 16,189


Social Functioning (SF)

68,51 ± 17,059

62,66 ± 20,716


Role-Emotional (RE)

56,41 ± 30,634

44,17 ± 37,040


Mental Health (MH)

65,23 ± 11,763

60,75 ± 14,542



41,94 ± 6,944

38,33 ± 7,984



46,01 ± 6,625

43,25 ± 8,410


In the current study, we showed that subscales that reflect "Physical functioning", "Role-physical", "Bodily pain", "General Health", "Vitality", "Social Functioning", "Role-Emotional", "Mental Health",
means significant decline among patients with thyroid hormonal disorders in comparison with normal level (USA, Canada, Sweden and Norway models), and subscales that reflect "Physical
functioning", "Role-physical", "Bodily pain", "General Health", "Vitality", "Soial Functioning", "Role-Emotional", "Mental Health" between patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
indicated statistical similar QoL declining. We have considered the life of our people is according the emotional and physical upheaval, and our current results show that the hormonal disorders of the

thyroid gland causing a predictable effect on physical function, but they have a more limited impact on the emotional state of health, and that the SF-36 is a useful tool, especially for the evaluation of
the functional condition of the patients and healthy population. Patients' satisfaction with their health is one of the important factors in assessing the commitment of patients. Therefore, we tried
to compare QoL in group who have good health with group where patients are not satisfied with own health by their estimation. Thus, we evaluated the adequacy of the response of participants.

The results of this comparison showed that subscales that reflect "Physical functioning," "Bodily pain," "Social functioning," "Mental health," "Mental component of health" showed no significant
differences between "satisfied" and "unsatisfied" groups. Although

subscales that reflect "Role physical," "General health," "Vitality," "Role emotional," "Physical component of health" showed significant differences between "satisfied" and "unsatisfied" groups. These scales showed difference in the physical components of health between two groups in routine daily activities, such as walking, moderate exercise, active life, not to mention the fact that there are jogging, sport and physical labor. Conversely, the reductions of the mental health components' are not a significantly different in both groups.

In Kazakhstan, the demographic policy is one of the main priorities. Its main components are population size, life duration, quality of life and active longevity, etc. Quality of life is very important not only for healthy population but also for people with various physical and mental disorders. Much more attention of scientists focused on this issue in many countries around the world. The Social Rehabilitation

Program helps people recovering from severe and prolonged illnesses with the following social/personal adjustment. That is why we need to develop and implement these kinds of programs. Unfortunately, now we cannot affirm that in our area of rehabilitation program works successfully.

Our study has several limitations. The number of participants was relatively small. Other socio-economical factors, which may affect the changes of QoL, were not considered. Further studies will be essentially needed.

In conclusion, we clarified the changes of QoL for patients with thyroid hormonal disorders, and suggest that they need support, regardless of the type of disorders. Appropriate supports to thyroid patients will be available to improve the rehabilitation in Semey city and Kazakhstan.



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Year: 2013
City: Almaty
Category: Medicine