Monday, July 8, 2013

Endocrine Article Abstract: Improving concept of recovery in endocrine disease by consideration of psychosocial issues

Improving the Concept of Recovery in Endocrine

Disease by Consideration of Psychosocial Issues
 Nicoletta Sonino and Giovanni A. Fava

Stringent criteria have been established to define remission

by hormone parameters in several endocrine disorders.
An example is provided by the criteria for cure of
acromegaly (1). However, it is clear that such criteria are
far from being comprehensive of a patient status, and often there is a need for filling a gap between the “hard data” of
laboratory results and imaging findings on one hand, and the “soft information” related to the patient presentation
and complaints on the other hand. Indeed, long-standing
endocrine disorders may imply a degree of irreversibility
of the pathological process and induce highly individualized affective responses based

Hormone replacement may not fully restore optimal
endocrine balance, and subtle dysfunctions may still exert
their influence on psychological states.

When surgery is performed
the patient is likely to have expectations of a
quick recovery toward his/her former normal condition.
Unrealistic hopes of “cure” may foster discouragement
and apathy.

Harvey Cushing himself had acknowledged
the difficult recovery of patients suffering from pituitary
disease: “It is even more common for a physician or surgeon
to eradicate or otherwise treat the obvious focus of
disease, with more or less success, and to leave the mushroom
of psychic deviations to vex and confuse the patient
for long afterwards, if not actually to imbalance him” (5).
Currently, however, the average endocrinologist is still
unfamiliar with the psychosocial aspects of patient care,
both in terms of personal skills and organizational structure,
and lacks an adequate background for facilitating the
process of recovery.
Indeed, the definition of recovery
in endocrine disease should not be limited to
normalization of hormonal values, but should be broadened
to the psychosocial status and functioning of
the patient.
 Patients have become more aware of these
ssues and their difficulties in coping with endocrine
illness, and its often severe psychological consequences
have led to the development of several patients’

The psychosocial impairment that is associated with
incomplete remission from endocrine illness requires
novel modalities of clinical interventions, as we outlined
by introducing the concept of rehabilitation in
endocrinology (7), to allow patients to progress toward
an optimized state of health. Rehabilitation in endocrinology
may be indicated in the following cases: 1) delayed
recovery after appropriate treatment; 2) discrepancy
between endocrine status and current functioning;
3) presence of a decline in physical and social functioning;
4) persistence of important comorbidity, with special
reference to psychiatric disturbances; 5) abnormal
illness behavior; 6) problems with lifestyle and risk behavior;
and 7) potential role of stress in endocrine disturbances.
An endocrine rehabilitation team should
include a trained clinical endocrinologist, a physical
therapist, and a psychologist, with opportunities for
other specialist consultations. The role of the psychologist
would be essential for a more precise definition of
the patient’s psychological symptoms, for understanding
coping difficulties, for modifying risk behaviors,
and for offering advice and support to spouses and family
members of patients undergoing the various phases
of illness. The goal of multidisciplinary approaches
would be to ensure education, support, and specific interventions,
helping the patient and his/her family to achieve optimal coping with the difficulties of the recovery
process (7, 8).


^^Yes I agree 100% of this article. Not only do hormone values need to be evaluated but also psychosocial status too and a rehab team is a must!

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