The main purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the impact of beta-thalassemia major (BTM) on the health-related quality of life as assessed by the medical outcomes short-form-36 questionnaire (SF-36).
A systematic literature search was performed on Cochrane library, Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, ProQues, Medline/PubMed, Scholar Google until March 17, 2017 to obtain eligible studies. A fixed effect model was applied to summarize the scores of each domain. The radar chart was used to compare the scores of BTM patients with other health conditions. Spearman’s correlation analysis and meta-regression were used to explore the related factors.
26 studies were included in this study, which were all reliable to summarize the scores of the SF36. Pooled mean scores of the physical health domains ranged from 52.74 to 74.5, with the GH and PF domains being the lowest and the highest, respectively. Further, the pooled mean scores of the mental health domains varied between 59.6 and 71.11, with the (MH-VT) and SF domains being the maximum and the minimum, respectively. Patients with BTM had a substantially compromised HRQoL in comparison with the general population.
BTM could adversely affect the HRQoL of patients. Measuring HRQoL should be considered as an essential part of the overall assessment of health status of BTM patients, which would provide valuable clues for improving the management of disease and making decisions on the treatment.