Hemophilia, which is a chronic illness associated with recurrent bleeding, may occur with psychosocial and behavioral problems.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and demographic features and changes in the self-image of adolescents with hemophilia.
Materials and Methods:
Data about hemophilia type, the severity of hemophilia, secondary prophylaxis received, and annual bleeding rate (ABR) were recorded from patient files. Hemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) and the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ) (as a measure of self-esteem) were applied to hemophilia patients and a healthy control group.
Thirty-two hemophilia patients (mean age=16.2±3.06 y) and 35 healthy male individuals (mean age=16.02±1.4 y) were enrolled in the study. Hemophilia patients had lower total OSIQ score than their peers (P=0.007). There was no difference between patients who received and who did not receive secondary prophylaxis (P=0.408) in terms of total OSIQ score. The median total OSIQ score of patients with pathologic HJHS (>0 points) was lower than that of patients with normal HJHS (0 points) (P=0.010). The median of ABR was 6 (range: 0 to 20) in the whole hemophilia group. There were no differences between hemophilia patients with ABR≤4 and >4 (P=0.084). All of the subscale parameters of the OSIQ were lower for hemophilia patients compared with their peers, besides one. The subscale of sexuality attitudes was better for hemophilia patients than for the healthy control group (P=0.028).
Low self-esteem in hemophilia patients indicates the importance of lifelong psychosocial support. Patients with pathologic HJHS are at risk of low-esteem. Using OSIQ with HJHS during follow-up of hemophilia patients may be useful for management.