Health-related quality of life and its associated factors, after thyroidectomy at Mulago National Referral Hospital: a cross-sectional study.
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Background: Anatomical disruption of the gland, along with its function in the body gives rise to metabolic effects after thyroidectomy, which may impact negatively on patients‟ HRQoL. Objective: To evaluate the health related quality of life and its associated factors; after thyroidectomy, at Mulago Hospital Methods: A cross sectional study involving participants recruited consecutively from the endocrine outpatients‟ clinic at Mulago and thyroid clinic at Kiruddu hospital. Written informed consent was obtained, questionnaires administered. A short form 36 version 2(SF-36v2) was used to capture the health related quality of life. Percentages, median, interquartile ranges were used to summarize data. Bivariate and multivariate analysis were used to identify associations between age, level of education, gender, marital status, employment status, type of surgery, chronic illness, history of operation, use of medication, people at home and domains of HRQoL. Results: Eighty participants were recruited between January 2019 to April 2019 with male: female of 1:12, median age of 46 (IQR 38-51). 63.75% had lobectomy and the commonest indication for surgery was unilateral nodular goiter. Good HRQoL was 100% with social functioning, but 100% poor with general health. Female gender (OR=16.37, p=0.033), type of surgery (near total, OR=59.11, p=0.009, total with OR=32.98, p=0.018), level of education (Alevel, OR=0.02, p=0.009; other tertiary OR=0.06, P=0.041) are associated with poor physical function. None were employed (OR=13.37, p=0.006), type of surgery (total, OR=22.64, p=0.013) are associated with poor role physical and type of surgery (near total, OR=3.69, p=0.024; total OR=16.4, p=0.001) was associated with more bodily pain. Type of surgery (total, p=0.038), employment at present (none OR=6.35, p=0.005) were associated with poor role emotion. Age>46, OR=1.26 p=0.037, type of surgery OR=0.20, p=0.032, (near total) were associated with poor vitality. Conclusions: Thyroidectomy lead to poor HRQoL (7 out of 8 SF – 36 domains)save for social functioning but improved with time in the physical dimension. Predictors of HRQoL were mainly female gender, unemployment, and more complex modalities of thyroidectomy. Recommendation: Health related quality of life assessment should be done as routine by clinicians during clinical assessment of patients who have undergone thyroidectomy.