Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most important issues for patients, but research on this topic is sparse. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of fatigue in postoperative patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and to identify the clinical features associated with fatigue.
We conducted a cross-sectional study on 292 thyroid cancer survivors. Fatigue and quality of life were the study outcomes, measured using the Cancer Fatigue Scale (CFS) and the SF-36 version 2.0. Furthermore, correlations of demographic characteristics and hormonal data with the CFS scores were assessed by univariable and multivariable analyses.
The prevalence of fatigue was 41.8% (95% CI: 36.1, 47.5). The CFS score was significantly correlated with the free T3 level (Pearson’s r = −0.123, 95% CI: −0.234, −0.008). Multiple regression analysis revealed that the free T3 level and having a job were significant predictors of the CFS score, with unstandardized regression coefficients of −2.52 (95% CI: −4.94, −0.09) and 2.85 (95% CI: 0.49, 5.20), respectively. The median Z-scores were negative for General Health (−0.28) and Vitality (−0.15) subscales of the SF-36. The CFS score was a significant predictor of summary scores of the SF-36. The free T3 level was significantly associated with the physical component summary score with an unstandardized coefficient of 3.20 (95% CI: 0.77, 5.63).
Fatigue was prevalent and associated with poor quality of life among PTC survivors. Thyroid functional status, particularly the level of free T3, may be worth to be considered in alleviating the burden.