Psychological adjustment to initial treatment for low-risk thyroid cancer: Preliminary study

Gabriella T. Seo, Mark L. Urken, Lauren E. Wein, Michael P. Saturno, Danielle Kapustin, Monica H. Xing, Lauren E. Yue, Eric M. Dowling, Tracey A. Revenson, Katherine J. Roberts, Robert Michael Tuttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Low-risk papillary thyroid carcinoma (LR-PTC) can be managed by immediate surgery (IS) or active surveillance (AS). We compare the psychological impact of these treatments on patients with LR-PTC. Methods: Psychological data were collected over 1 year, with assessments at the time of treatment decision (T1), at 6 months (T2) and 12 months (T3) follow-up. Assessments included 13 validated psychological tools. Results: Of 27 enrolled patients, 20 chose AS and 7 chose IS. The average times to T2 and T3 were 5.7 and 11.3 months, respectively. For both groups, Impact of Events Scale scores significantly decreased (p = 0.001) at T2, and depressive/anxiety symptoms remained low. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of assessing psychological outcomes among patients treated for LR-PTC. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of AS versus IS on quality of life and changes that patients experience over longer time periods following their treatment decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • active surveillance
  • immediate surgery
  • low risk
  • papillary microcarcinoma
  • thyroid cancer


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