Assessment of the Quality of Life Among Thalassemia Patients in the Gaza Strip
Asmaa Abu-Muammar, European Gaza Hospital, Khan Yunis City, Ministry of Health, Gaza strip, Palestine.
Background: Thalassemia is the most common hemoglobin disorder in the world and thalassemia major and intermedia stand among the most severe forms. Quality of Life (QOL) has emerged as an important parameter for assessing the quality of health care of patients with thalassemia disease. The QOL of thalassemia patients in the Gaza Strip has not previously been studied. Objective: The objective of this study is to assess QOL among patients with thalassemia disease in Gaza Strip, using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Design and Setting: Descriptive, analytical, cross-sectional study has been performed on 200 thalassemia patients aged 18 years or more on follow-up at two hematology centers; Al-Shifa Hospital and European Gaza Hospital, in 2014. After the participants’ socioeconomics, demographics and disease characteristics had been recorded, they filled out the SF-36 questionnaire and the relationship between various variables and the QOL score was evaluated. Results: The results showed that study participants had a medium perception level of QOL (mean score was 41.98, SD=19.24). The overall mean percentage for SF-36 domains scores ranged from 24.68% to 53.85%. The general health domain got the highest score with relative weight equaled 53.85%, the social function domain: 51.78%, the physical function domain: 50.62%, the bodily pain domain: 49.90%, the mental health domain: 33.19%, the vitality domain: 32.70%, the emotional role limitation: 31.88% and the lowest domain was physical role limitation with relative weight of 24.68%. Conclusion: The findings demonstrated that, patients with thalassemia disease had a medium perception level about their QOL. The lowest perception was observed in role limitation due to physical function, which led to restriction of work capacity. However, most of patients were satisfied with their general health, which led to buffering effect on their psychological status and QOL. Promoting psychosocial, social and financial support may help them to cope better with their chronic disease. Designing and implementing educational programs for nurses who work in hematology units might be positively reflected on patients' QOL.
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