Illustrating the impact of mild/moderate and severe haemophilia on health-related quality of life: hypothesised conceptual models

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Haemophilia and its treatment have a significant impact on patients' lives. The study objectives were to understand the impacts of haemophilia and its treatment from the patient perspective and to inform the development of comprehensive health-related quality-of-life (HRQL) conceptual models to illustrate these impacts.


The study included two phases. Phase I involved a review of literature published from 1995 to 2010, qualitative analysis of six patient (N = 31) and three healthcare provider (N = 15) focus group transcripts, and interviews with two experts to inform draft conceptual models of mild/moderate and severe haemophilia. Phase II involved interviews with 20 haemophilia patients and qualitative analysis of transcripts to confirm the concepts and structure of the conceptual models.


The literature search resulted in 66 publications assessing HRQL, four of which were qualitative studies on the impact of haemophilia from the patient perspective. Results from Phase I indicated that acute bleeding events result in pain, swelling, bruising and restricted joint movement; repeated joint bleeds result in chronic symptoms, such as pain and arthropathy. Acute bleeds cause interruptions in daily activities and interfere with work/school. Patients have fears about having bleeds, which can affect their participation in activities, such as sports or crowded events. Patients also expressed feelings of depression, frustration, isolation and embarrassment. Results of Phase II corroborated findings from Phase I.


The conceptual models illustrate the substantial impact of haemophilia and its treatments on patients' lives and can help inform clinical study design and the selection of endpoints to assess treatment benefit.

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