Addressing Thalassaemia Management from Patients’ Perspectives: An International Collaborative Assessment

Eleftheria C. Economidou, Michael Angastiniotis, Demetris Avraam, Elpidoforos S. Soteriades, Androulla Eleftheriou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: The effective management of chronic diseases, particularly hereditary and rare diseases and thalassaemia, is an important indicator of the quality of healthcare systems. We aimed to assess healthcare services in different countries for thalassaemia patients by using publicly available health indicators and by surveying thalassaemia patients and their caregivers. Materials and Methods: We reviewed official worldwide databases from the WHO, World Bank, and scientific resources, and we used a structured patient-tailored self-completed questionnaire to survey thalassaemia patients and their caregivers in 2023. Results: A total of 2082 participants were surveyed (mean age, 27 years; males, 42%). About 1 in 4 respondents did not complete high-school education, while 24% had a bachelor’s degree. About a third of respondents were married and were in either full- or part-time employment. The vast majority (~80%) had initiated transfusion therapy between 1 and 4 years of age. Only 42% reported no delays in receiving blood transfusion, while 47% reported occasional delays and 8% serious delays. About half of patients reported being very satisfied (11%) or satisfied (38%) with the quality of services provided, while 1 in 3 patients reported being unsatisfied or very unsatisfied, and that their access to treatment was difficult or very difficult due to traveling expenses and the high cost of treatment. Conclusions: Important improvements in the care of thalassaemia patients have been documented during the past few decades. Nevertheless, additional focus is required through national healthcare systems to effectively address the many unmet needs revealed by our recent survey, as well as to achieve satisfactory patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number650
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • health services
  • international survey
  • ITHACA
  • questionnaire
  • thalassaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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