To evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and satisfaction with iron chelation therapy (ICT) of patients with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT) managed under routine care conditions.
Patients and methods
This was an observational, multicenter, cross-sectional study conducted in three hospital-based Thalassemia Units of Western Greece. Patients confidentially completed the 36-item short-form (SF-36) and the “satisfaction with ICT” (SICT) instruments to assess HRQoL and ICT satisfaction respectively.
One hundred and thirty-one adult TDT patients [74 female, median (IQR) age: 41 (36–47) years] were enrolled. Eighty patients (61.1%) were receiving parenteral ICT, with or without oral chelators (Group I), whereas 51 (38.9%) were only receiving oral ICT (Group II). The median SF-36 physical component summary and mental component summary scores were 76.3 and 75.7 among Group I, and 76.9 and 74.5 among Group II patients, not differing between the two groups. In their majority, Group I (84.6%) and Group II (92.9%) patients reported preferring oral ICT. Moreover, Group I patients reported greater perceived ICT effectiveness (median SICT score: 4.3 versus 4.2; p = 0.039), whereas patients receiving deferasirox-containing ICT reported higher treatment acceptance (median SICT score: 4.0 versus 3.6, p = 0.038) and greater satisfaction with the burden of their ICT (median SICT score: 4.4 versus 3.9, p = 0.033).
TDT patients prefer to receive oral ICT and are more satisfied of the burden of deferasirox-containing ICT, even though those receiving parenteral ICT are more satisfied by the effectiveness of their treatment. No differences in HRQoL were not noted between patients receiving parenteral versus oral ICT.