Supplementary Material for: Hydrocortisone Dose Influences Pain, Depressive Symptoms and Perceived Health in Adrenal Insufficiency: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: There is a major lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effects of hydrocortisone (HC) substitution therapy in patients with secondary adrenal insufficiency. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of two different replacement doses of HC on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a RCT. Methods: This RCT with a double-blind cross-over design was performed at the University Medical Center Groningen. Forty-seven patients (29 men, age 51 ± 14 years, range 19-73 years) with secondary adrenal insufficiency participated. Patients received both a lower and a higher dose of HC (0.2-0.3 and 0.4-0.6 mg/kg body weight/day) for 10 weeks in random order. HRQoL was assessed with a daily mood and symptom checklist (Patient Health Questionnaire-15 [PHQ-15], Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 [GAD-7], Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9]) and with questionnaires assessing general well-being (RAND 36-Item Health Survey [RAND-36]), mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]) and fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory-20 [MFI-20]). identifier: NCT01546922. Results: Patients receiving the higher dose of HC reported significantly fewer symptoms of depression (p = 0.016 and p = 0.045 for HADS and PHQ-9, respectively), less general and mental fatigue (p = 0.004 and p = 0.003, respectively, both MFI-20), increased motivation (p = 0.021, MFI-20), better physical functioning (p = 0.041), better general health (p = 0.013) and more vitality (p = 0.025) (all RAND-36). In addition, while on the higher dose, fewer somatic symptoms (p = 0.022) and less pain (p < 0.001) (both PHQ-15) were experienced. Conclusions: On the higher dose of HC, patients reported a better HRQoL on various domains as compared to the lower dose of HC. The fact that a higher dose of HC may improve patient well-being should be taken into consideration when individualizing the HC substitution dose.