Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia
Print version ISSN 1516-8484
SILVA, Luiz Bernardino Lima da et al. The burden and quality of life of caregivers of sickle cell anemia patients taking hydroxyurea versus those not taking hydroxyurea. Rev. Bras. Hematol. Hemoter. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.4, pp. 270-274. ISSN 1516-8484. http://dx.doi.org/10.5581/1516-8484.20120070.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the burden and quality of life of caregivers of patients with sickle cell anemia taking hydroxyurea versus those of patients not taking hydroxyurea. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed of caregivers of outpatients with sickle cell anemia in two public hospitals in Campo Grande, MS, from January through June 2010. The World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF Scale and the Caregiver Burden Scale were used. RESULTS: Of the 37 caregivers in this study, 81.1% were women, 73.0% were mothers, 59.5% were married, 54.1%were mulattos, 48.6% were housewives, 54.1% had family incomes of up to one minimum wage and 75.7% had onlycompleted elementary education. The mean duration of care provided (time after diagnosis) was 16.08 ± 9.88 yearsand 89.2% reported that they provided 24-hour care. Regarding health, 27.0% of study participants reported having physical and 13.5% emotional problems. There were no significant relationships between these variables either with the different domains or the total score of the WHOQOL-BREF comparing caregivers of patients taking hydroxyurea versusthose of patients not taking hydroxyurea. There was a moderate negative linear correlation between the WHOQOL-BREF and the Caregiver Burden Scale scores (linear correlation test of Pearson: p-value = 0.003, r = -0.477). The burden of caregivers of patients who did not take hydroxyurea was significantly higher than those of patients who took the medication in terms of general tension, disappointment, environment and total score (student t-test: p-value < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In the perception of the caregiver, looking after sickle cell anemia patients represents a moderate negative burden.
Keywords : Anemia, sickle cell; Caregivers; Quality of life; Hydroxyurea.