4 years ago

Raising awareness of Graves' orbitopathy with early warning cards

Janis Hickey, Rhianne Mason, Ramzi Ajjan, Bijay Vaidya, , Petros Perros, Nicola Zammitt, Anna L. Mitchell, Colin Dayan
Background Clinically significant Graves' orbitopathy (GO) develops in about 25% of those with Graves' disease (GD); most cases of GD in the UK are managed by endocrinologists. Despite this, patients report significant delays before a diagnosis of GO is made. Measures to increase awareness of the early signs of GO and establishing a fast-track referral pathway to specialist care should overcome these delays and potentially improve outcomes. Aims We aimed to determine whether issuing a “GO early warning card” to all GD patients raises awareness of GO and facilitates early diagnosis, what percentage of cards result in a telephone contact, the number of “false reports” from card carriers and patient perceptions of the cards. Methods We designed cards, detailing common GO symptoms and a telephone number for patients developing symptoms. Cards were distributed to 160 GD patients, without known GO, attending four endocrine clinics in the UK (December 2015-March 2016). We recorded telephone contacts over twelve months from when the last card was distributed and gathered patient feedback. Results The early warning cards were well received by patients in general. Over twelve months, ten telephone contacts from nine patients, all related to ocular symptoms, were received (6% of cards issued). Nine calls resulted in an additional clinic review (for eight patients), and four diagnoses of GO were made. Conclusions This pilot study demonstrates that it is feasible to distribute GO early warning cards in clinic, and that they can be used to facilitate an early diagnosis of GO.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cen.13438

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