Experiences with a low-iodine diet: A qualitative study of patients with thyroid cancer receiving radioactive iodine therapy

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to describe hormone interruption experiences related to not only physical problems, but also psychological, social, and spiritual problems, in patients who had undergone total thyroidectomy. Methods: In-depth interviews were performed with five participants, four women and one man, aged between 28 and 58. The participants were subjected to high-dose radiation of 100-150 mCi and had experienced abrupt hormonal interruptions after undergoing total thyroidectomy. The analysis was conducted using Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method. Results: Five essential components emerged as the interviews were dissected: dietary disruption due to discomfort, distress from overall bodily congestion, feelings of isolation as normalcy is lost from their daily routine, spending daily life with unfamiliar functional declines due to the LID, a lethargic state due to the lack of a place to which patients could retreat from the stress of hormone absence. Conclusions: The participants showed insecurity and depression due to an unbalanced diet, limited activities, and an abnormal lifestyle induced by the treatment. This treatment-related information can help healthcare providers readily understand and alleviate symptoms of thyroid cancer patients treated with RAI therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1



  • Experience
  • Hormonal interruption
  • I-131 therapy
  • Low iodine diet
  • Phenomenology
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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