Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 49 EP1282 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP1282

Weak numeracy is common problem in patients with thyroid diseases

Ewa Wawak1, Pawel Basinski1, Malgorzata Gasiorek1 & Krzysztof Marczewski1,2


1Department of Nephrology and Endocrinology Pope John Paul II Regional Hospital, Zamosc, Poland; 2Faculty of Health Sciences University of Economy and Innovations, Lublin, Poland.


Introduction: In modern medicine, we expect from patients numeracy skills. Starting with the correct dosage of drugs up to understand the principles of risk assessment of alternative treatments. These skills, however, are probably rarely checked. Just as the skills of reading, where we entrust signature ‘read and understood’. That is why we want to introduce our observation.

Method: Subsequent patient, outpatient endocrinological clinic, we have proposed making two tests to assess numeracy: Schwartz test (max. 3 points) and Berlin Numeracy Test (max. 4 points).

Results: We investigated 112 patients (101 women) in age 17 to 85 years (average 55±15). No one person became maximal possible results, and 11 (10%) had not answered any question. The results of other patients indicate significant problems with simple counting. 2 person rejected Schwartz test, and 1 person rejected BNT test. From others 36 person became 0 points in Schwartz test, 43 patients 1 point, 23 patients 2 points and only 8 maximally possible 3 points. Similar or even worse are the results in BNT 29 person became 0 points, 56 1 point, 22 2 points, only 3 3 point and no one maximal possible 4 points. We did not find significant correlations between the results of the tests, and the sex, age and TSH.

Conclusion: Weak numeracy is a common problem in patients with thyroid diseases.

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