Date of Award

Spring 4-12-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Donna DeGracia

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Despite receiving treatment for hyperthyroidism, symptoms often persist, despite being chemically euthyroid. By performing this study, the researcher hoped to learn how the persistence of these symptoms affects quality of life in Graves' disease. Methods The questionnaire used was adapted from the Hyperthyroidism Complaint Questionnaire designed by Fahrenfort and Wilterdink, with results published in the February 2000 issue of psychoneuroendocrinoloy. The modified questionnaire was sent to members of the National Graves' Disease Foundation. Respondents were questioned on symptoms and affects on relationships, careers and overall functioning. Data was analyzed using the Statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for frequency of responses, and by using Pearson's correlation coefficient Results Common persistent complaints included feeling easily stressed, memory problems, decreased energy and decreased libido. Over 25% of respondents indicated relationships had struggled, citing more frequent conflicts and feeling others lack understanding for their feelings. Respondents also indicated Graves' had affected their careers. Conclusion Respondents indicated the persistence of several symptoms and also found their relationships, careers, and daily functioning affected. These areas are important in helping to determine satisfaction with life and therefore, it was determined that Graves' disease can adversely affect quality of life.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Smith.JL