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.
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.
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.