Stigma and Pain in Adolescents Hospitalized for Sickle Cell Vasoocclusive Pain Episodes
Sickle cell disease (SCD) pain and hospitalizations increase during adolescence and adolescents with SCD may be at-risk for experiencing health-related stigma, which may result in poor health outcomes. This study examined relations among health-related stigma, pain interference, social support, quality of life (QOL), and hospital outcomes (ie, loneliness, pain reduction, and length of stay [LOS]) in adolescents hospitalized with SCD pain.Materials and Methods:
Twelve- to 18-year-old adolescents (N=92) hospitalized with SCD pain completed measures of stigma, pain interference, social support, QOL, and state loneliness. Reduction of pain intensity during hospitalization and LOS were collected from medical chart review.Results:
Higher stigma was associated with higher pain interference, lower QOL, more loneliness, and less pain reduction in the hospital. Pain interference was positively associated with LOS.Discussion:
These preliminary findings highlight the importance of assessing and addressing SCD-related stigma and pain interference in adolescents hospitalized for SCD pain as these factors may influence treatment outcomes.