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F Albarel, I Pellegrini, H Rahabi, C Baccou, L Gonin, C Rochette, M Vermalle, T Cuny, F Castinetti, and T Brue

Introduction

The low prevalence of pituitary diseases makes patient autonomy crucial, and self-management programs should be more common.

Objectives

To assess the efficacy of an education program for patients with pituitary diseases in terms of patients’ quality of life, satisfaction and goal attainment.

Design and methods

Adult patients with pituitary disorders were recruited in a tertiary referral center and chose at least three of eight possible sessions on various topics, from disease management to psychosocial issues. Patients were included if they attended at least three sessions between 2012 and 2016 and completed the initial, final, and follow-up questionnaires. Data on quality of life (SF36), satisfaction and goal attainment were analyzed.

Results

Fifty-three patients were included (33 women; mean age, 53.5 years). There were a significant quality of life improvements in terms of physical and psychic limitation scores at the final assessment that persisted at follow-up evaluation. Most patients reached their objectives, especially those on sharing experiences and improving autonomy and self-confidence. More than half set new objectives at the end of the program, the most popular one being to reinforce their knowledge of their pituitary disease, its evolution and treatment (17.1% of patients). The mean overall satisfaction score was 3.75/4. At follow-up evaluation, patients reported improved self-management of pituitary disease (3.6/5) and improved self-efficacy (3.8/5).

Conclusion

Individualizing the educational objectives of patients with pituitary disease improves the way they live with their disease. If confirmed in other cohorts, this approach could become the gold standard for education programs in rare endocrine diseases.