Quality of Life Outcomes in a Pediatric Thalassemia Population in Egypt.
Thalassemia is a disorder of hemoglobin (Hb) synthesis characterized by chronic hemolysis. In β-thalassemias major (β-TM), patients require regular transfusion at an early age due to severe anemia. Subsequently, intensive chelation therapy is initiated to mitigate the effects of the resultant iron overload. Clinical disease burden and the demanding treatment can affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in this population. The aim of this study was to assess HRQoL outcomes in Egyptian pediatric thalassemia patients. Patients were enrolled simultaneously from the hematology clinic at the National Research Institute in Cairo, Egypt. The Arabic version of SF36 tool was used to assess HRQoL outcomes. Socioeconomic data were collected by patient and parent interviews. Clinical data were collected by review of medical records. One hundred and thirty patients and 60 controls were enrolled, with a mean age of 5.4 ± 3.2 years and 6.3 ± 3.0, respectively. The HRQoL outcome scores were lower in all domains in the thalassemia group compared to the control group (p = 0.0001). Transfusion-dependent (TD) patients had lower HRQoL scores compared to nontransfusion-dependent (NTD) patients (p = 0.0001). Patient education and maternal education were independently associated with better HRQoL scores (p = 0.007, p = 0.028, respectively). Residents of rural areas reported lower scores compared to urban residents (p = 0.026). Thalassemia was associated with lower HRQoL scores, in all domains, compared to HRQoL in unaffected controls. Chronic transfusion independence, patient education, and maternal education were all associated with higher HRQoL scores. Psychological, social, and economic support for families with thalassemia are all essential tools to improve HRQoL outcomes.
Adam, S; Afifi, H; Thomas, M; Magdy, P; El-Kamah, G
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