Background and aims: Nowadays introduction of regular blood transfusion therapy has obviously improved the life expectancy of patients with thalassemia. However, these patients face with newer challenges which influence their quality of life (QoL). In this study, the aim of this study was to measure QoL among patients with β-thalassemia major (β-TM).
Methods: A cross-sectional study was done at the thalassemia centre of Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences. All the forty patients with β-thalassemia which were more than 12 years old referred to blood transfusion and participated in this study. Then, they were asked to fill out the Short Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) questionnaire. The questionnaire evaluates 8 health areas including physical functioning (PF), role-physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (VT), social functioning (SF), role-emotional (RE) and mental health (MH). The scores of each participant were calculated and data were analyzed using SPSS.
Results: There were 18 men and 22 women, and the mean age was 21.69±5.74 years
(range 12-38). No significant difference was seen in QoL between men and women (68.72±19.79 versus 67.47±18.80, P=0.84). The mean±SD score of PF, RP, BP, GH, VT, SF, MH was 80.5±16, 83.75±29.17, 71.94±24.22, 57.48±23.93, 54.36±22.51, 68.94±23.37, 66.33±36.04 and 58.51±23.68, respectivly. No significant differences were detected in all mentioned scores between men and women (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Although most of the participants had suitable physical functioning, thalassemia had a negative effect on emotional role, social functioning and mental health of patients. It shows the importance of psychosocial supports for these patients.