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Assessing quality of life in Australian patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy
  1. J J Park1,
  2. T J Sullivan1,
  3. R H Mortimer2,
  4. M Wagenaar2,
  5. D A Perry-Keene2
  1. 1Eyelid, Lacrimal and Orbital Clinic, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Qld 4029, Australia
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Qld 4029, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Associate Professor T J Sullivan 7th Floor, 135 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia;


Aims: To determine quality of life and adequacy of education and counselling in Australian patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy during the course of their illness.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at the orbital and endocrinology clinics of Royal Brisbane Hospital on 162 consecutive patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy who were managed between the 1992 and 2000. The Graves’ ophthalmopathy quality of life (GO-QOL) survey modified for Australian conditions was distributed to study participants. Of the 19 questions asked, nine questions related to visual functioning, eight questions were about the psychosocial consequences of changed appearance, and two questions referred to education and counselling. Additionally, clinical data on the severity of illness were collected retrospectively from the medical notes of these patients.

Results: Completed questionnaires were received from 128 patients. The majority of patients reported limitations in daily activities such as hobbies, driving, watching television and reading, as well as impaired self confidence. The mean GO-QOL scores in this study were (100 representing maximum QOL): visual functioning 59.0 (SD 28.0), psychosocial consequences of changed appearance 54.5 (28.4), and education and counselling 59.1 (38.8). Only about a quarter of patients indicated that education and counselling were adequate and helpful.

Conclusion: Graves’ ophthalmopathy profoundly affects QOL and adequate education and counselling are essential for helping patients to cope with their illness. The GO-QOL survey is a simple, practical tool that can be used easily in a clinic to determine the QOL issues in subjects with Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

  • Graves’ ophthalmopathy
  • Graves’ disease
  • quality of life
  • education
  • counselling
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  • The authors do not have any propriety interest in any of the material used in the study.

  • Presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Congress of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, October 2001, Adelaide, Australia.

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