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Rachel Fourneaux, Marie Vermalle, Frederique Albarel, Isabelle Morange, Thomas Graillon, Vincent Amodru, Thomas Cuny, Henry Dufour, Thierry Brue, and Frederic Castinetti

Objective

A relative can be an asset in dealing with chronic illnesses, such as acromegaly, where quality of life (QoL) is altered even after remission. However, it has been shown that quality of life of caregivers can also be impacted. Our main objective was to compare the perception of acromegaly in remission in the patient–relative dyad.

Methods

In this observational study, 27 patients in remission and relatives were first asked to complete QoL, anxiety/depression and coping strategy questionnaires. Then, the patient’s body image and self-esteem were evaluated from both the patient’s and the relative’s point of view using the same questionnaires with modified instructions.

Results

Relatives had overall an accurate estimation of patient body image using the Figure Rating Scale by Stunkard. However, there were wide variations between the patient’s and the relative’s responses regarding self-esteem and body perception. The QoL of relatives was not altered and was significantly higher in the social domain than for the patient.

Conclusions

Our results show that relatives require education concerning all the steps involved in the management of acromegaly, as they likely do not fully understand the sequelae of acromegaly.