Quality of Life, teenagers, β-thalassemia major, PedsQLTM, Qatar
Background: Thalassemia is a heterogeneous group of inherited disorders of hemoglobin synthesis. It is a common disease in Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent, and Middle East countries, including Qatar. Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life (QOL) among patients aged 14 to 18 years with thalassemia major (TM) in Qatar and correlates their QOL with bio-demographic data of the patients compared to healthy controls. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study measured the QOL in adolescents with thalassemia major who were attending ambulatory units in a tertiary hospital in Qatar. Forty children and adolescents with TM and 40 healthy participants were enrolled in the study. Forty-two (52.5%) participants were males and 38 (47.5%) females. Data were collected utilizing PedsQLTM 4.0 generic core scale and were analyzed using the appropriate statistical method. Results: Children with TM had significantly lower and more variable overall quality of life score (69.1 ± 16.8) compared to healthy matched children (77 ± 12.8), (p <0.001). Both groups were not different from the physical, emotional, and social domains. Thalassemic adolescents had also a significantly lower school performance. Conclusions: TM adversely affects the QOL of children and adolescents and this necessitates applying more efforts to help them improve and achieve a desirable quality of life. Patients with TM need more attention in schools that can be accomplished by implementing a special program for their management that needs a mutual collaboration between Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and Ministry of Education (MoE) in Qatar.