Health-related Quality of Life and its Predictors Among Transfusion-dependent Thalassemia Patients

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Abstract

Purpose:

With regular blood transfusions and modern medical management strategies, transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT) patients are currently living into adulthood, but they still suffer from the chronicity of the disease and its complications. This study was aimed to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores in pediatric TDT patients compared with healthy controls.

Patients and Methods:

The PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales were administered to 80 pediatric TDT patients (aged 5 to 18 y, child self-report) and their parents (parent-proxy report), as well as age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls (80 participants and their parents).

Results:

Patients with TDT and their parents rated lower HRQoL scores in all domains (physical, emotional, social, and school functioning) compared with the healthy population (P<0.01). The univariate analysis indicated that the total HRQoL score for children’s self-reports was negatively predicted by high ferritin levels and the presence of any complication. The only negative predictor of the total HRQoL score in multivariate analyses was a high ferritin level (>1800 ng/dL).

Conclusions:

This study showed that thalassemia has a negative impact on HRQoL when compared with a healthy population. For a better quality of life, intensive treatment should be applied for complications and high ferritin levels.

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