In this study, researchers aimed to evaluate the quality of life in children and adolescents with thalassemia in El Minya governorate, at Upper Egypt, and to investigate which factors can lead to the establishment of good supportive clinical programs that will improve quality of life in these patients especially that stem cell transplantation is not an option for most of them.
Thalassemia is a major health problem that disturbs the lifestyle of the affected patient. The aim of this work is to detect the impact of thalassemia on the quality of life regarding physical, social, emotional, psychological scored assessment.
A case-control survey was conducted in Minia University children's hospital on 64 patients recruiting pediatric hematology outpatient clinic from July 2014 to February 2017.
PedsQL™ 4.0 Generic Core Scale (Arabic version) was used to assess HRQOL in 64 thalassemia patients between 8 and 18 years of ages. Other related clinical data of the involved patients were collected from the pediatric hematology records.
Mean physical, emotional, social, school performance, psychological and total scores (- 36.9 ± 20.9, 49.4 ± 17, 47.2 ± 21.3, 38.5 ± 15.5, 45.3 ± 13.8, 47.9 ± 38.8 respectively) were significantly decreased compared with control (p = 0.001 for all).
The younger age group had better scores regarding social, emotional, psychological and total scores compared to older ones (p = 0.01, 0.03, 0.01 and 0.009 respectively).
Older age of starting transfusion was statistically significant protecting factor from poor physical QOL in thalassemia patients (OR = 0.96, p = 0.03). The presence of hepatomegaly was a statistically significant predictor for poor physical QOL (OR = 8.5, p = 0.02).
Household income was the statistically significant predictor for poor emotional QOL (OR = 5.03, p = 0.04). High serum ferritin was the statistically significant predictor for poor social QOL (OR = 1.1, CI 95%=, p = 0.04).
Regarding poor psychological QOL (OR = 0.94, p = 0.01) and total QOL (OR = 0.94, p = 0.01) scores, older age of starting transfusion was the statistically significant protecting factor.
Scheduled programs giving psychosocial help and a network connecting between the patients, school officials, thalassemia caregivers and the physician is required especially in developing countries where the health services are not integrated with social organizations.
Special school services for thalassemia patients are required to deal with the repeated absence and anemia induced low mental performance of thalassemia children.