Persistent negative disease perceptions despite long-term biochemical control of acromegaly: novel application of the drawing test

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SUN 88-129-Acromegaly & Prolactinoma
Sunday, June 16, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SUN-106
Jitske Tiemensma*1, Elizabeth Broadbent2, Johannes A. Romijn3, Alberto M. Pereira4, Nienke R Biermasz5 and Adrian A Kaptein6
1University of California Merced, Merced, CA, 2University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 3Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 4Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, 5Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, 6Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands
Context and objective: Patients with acromegaly have persistent complaints despite long-term biochemical control of the disease. Drawings can be used to assess perceptions of patients about their disease. We aimed to explore the utility of the Drawing Test and its relation to illness perceptions and quality of life (QoL) in patients after long-term (mean 16yr, SE ±1.2) remission of acromegaly.

Design: Cross sectional study.

Subjects: We included 50 patients after long-term remission of acromegaly. Patients completed the Drawing Test (with drawings on their body perception before acromegaly, during the active phase of acromegaly, and after long term biochemical remission of acromegaly) , the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised, the Physical Symptom Checklist, the EuroQoL-5D, and the AcroQoL.

Results: Patients perceived a dramatic change in body size during the active state of the disease compared with the healthy state prior to the awareness of acromegaly. Patients reported that their body did not completely return to the original proportions in the healthy state after long term biochemical control of acromegaly. In addition, there were strong correlations between the size of the drawings and the perceived negative consequences of acromegaly (P<0.05, larger drawings indicated more negative consequences). Emotional representations and illness identity were also correlated with the size of the drawing. Larger drawings indicated a higher score on emotional representations (P<0.05) and larger drawings also indicated more perceived symptoms that were attributed to acromegaly (P<0.01). The association between the Drawing Test and QoL was less apparent.

Conclusion: The Drawing Test appears to be a novel and relatively easy tool to assess the perception of patients after long-term remission of acromegaly. The assessment of drawings may enable doctors to appreciate the perceptions of patients with long-term remission of acromegaly, and will lead the way in dispelling idiosyncratic beliefs.

Nothing to Disclose: JT, EB, JAR, AMP, NRB, AAK

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