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Semin Hematol. 2001 Jan;38(1 Suppl 1):77-84.

Improving adherence with deferoxamine regimens for patients receiving chronic transfusion therapy.

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Northern California Comprehensive Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Centers, Oakland, USA.


We designed a study to obtain follow-up on behavioral aspects of compliance with home deferoxamine administration, explore social factors that might influence compliance, and evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot intervention program for patients with thalassemia or sickle cell disease who were receiving chronic transfusion therapy. Thirty-one patients between the ages of 6 and 21 years and their primary caregivers were administered a 24-hour recall Interview about home care. Fifteen went on to participate in a Desferal Day Camp, which combined educational strategies with peer support. Behavioral measures of treatment adherence were similar for most patients with sickle cell disease and thalassemia. Patient compliance with days of deferoxamine administration at follow-up was associated with initial compliance, perceived support, and patient and caregiver knowledge. Increased sharing of responsibilities for home care by patients and caregivers and caregiver knowledge were associated with lower ferritin and liver iron levels. A subsample of 3 patients who were extremely noncompliant with days of deferoxamine administration was examined separately; these patients were found to be moderately compliant with the number of hours and amount of deferoxamine administered and to share fewer home care tasks with primary caregivers. Participation in Desferal Day Camp did not result in increases in knowledge or peer support, suggesting that future interventions should focus on family support and on improving self-regulatory skills. The crucial role of collaboration among patients, families, and health care providers in developing interventions to enhance adherence was emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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