New possible determinants of the quality of life of patients with treated thyroid cancer: a qualitative study

Carla Maria Ramos Germano Débora Bonato Victor Hugo Maion Lucimar Retto da Silva de Avó Débora Gusmão Melo Bruno José Barcellos Fontanella About the authors


The aim of this study was to develop a qualitative approach of determinant factors of the quality of life of treated patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. Sixteen in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals 18 to 45 years old regarding their disease representations and experiences, followed by statements content analysis. The results show issues already provided in structured questionnaires about quality of life, although others were only partially assumed in these surveys (management of the concept of disease etiology; the “forced” patient introduction into the medical conceptual universe; the fear of the prognosis and positive changes in lifestyle). The results interpretation were benefited from recently developed theoretical elaborations: the anxieties related to illness experience seem to be configured as a “modern risk”, in the context of a “risk society”. The development of structured questionnaires on quality of life requires frequent qualitative studies to capture changes in subjective aspects of the construct, given the dynamic changes of historical, cultural and psychological meanings of the health disease process, constantly influenced by technological innovations and continuing epidemiological interpretations.

Qualitative research; quality of life; papillary thyroid carcinoma; adults

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