Nursing Studies

Exploring the experience of women receiving T3 /T4 therapy

Exploring the impact withdrawal of combined T3 and T4 (hormonal) therapy can have on the physical, mental and emotional health of women diagnosed with hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)

Using Photovoice to explore the lived experience of women receiving T3/T4 therapy for a diagnosis of hypothyroidism in Scotland

The project will support women individually and collectively to gather photographic evidence and a written account of their experiences which can then be used inform clinical practice and influence policy (i.e. the prescribing of T3/T4) by informing the current debate and raising awareness.

Participants, recruited from a local thyroid support group, will be invited to take part in a photographic workshop in Edinburgh. The workshop will offer guidance on photographic techniques. Thereafter, participants will spend 4-6 weeks taking photos of their choice, giving them the opportunity to highlight their own experiences. Individual interviews with participants will then be undertaken, spending time discussing some of the photos and exploring their experiences of T3/T4 therapy.

 Participants will then be invited to a focus group in Edinburgh to bring together photographs, experiences and learning from the interviews to co-produce key messages from this study.

The aims of the project are to:

  • provide a unique insight and opportunity for service users (women with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism) to add to the current and ongoing debate surrounding the prescribing of T3 (Liothyroxine) therapy for patients across Scotland by ensuring that patients’ voices are included in this debate.
  • explore patients’ perceptions of T3 (Liothyroxine) therapy in terms of its perceived benefits when used in combination with T4 (Levothyroxine) and the impact its withdrawal has had.

Project team

Maggie Carson, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Sarah J. Rhynas, University of Edinburgh