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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2019 Jul;66(7):e27740. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27740. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Greater number of perceived barriers to hydroxyurea associated with poorer health-related quality of life in youth with sickle cell disease.

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Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York.
College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.
Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York.
Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.



Despite medical benefits, hydroxyurea adherence in adolescents is often poor. As part of a baseline assessment of 28 youth (10-18 years) parent dyads who participated in a 6-month feasibility trial to improve hydroxyurea adherence, we measured the relationship between greater barriers to adherence and health-related quality of life (HRQL) from youth and parent perspectives.


Barriers were measured using the Adolescent and Parent Medication Barriers Scales with nine hydroxyurea items added. Barriers reported by ≥25% of the sample were considered common. Generic and disease-specific HRQL were measured by PedsQL and PedsQL Sickle Cell Disease modules. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha, Spearman correlation coefficients, and paired t tests.


Fifty-six subjects (28 dyads) participated. Youth reported greater barriers compared with parents (5.0 ± 3.9 and 3.5 ± 3.2; P = 0.03), with >80% of respondents reporting ≥1 barriers. Twelve barriers were reported by ≥25% of adolescents, whereas six were reported by ≥25% of parents. Of these, only two were common to both dyad members. Approximately one-third of youth had generic and disease-specific HRQL scores that fell at or below cutoff scores, suggesting being at risk for impaired HRQL. Greater barriers were inversely associated with poorer generic (parent r = -0.43, P = 0.03; youth r = -0.44, P < 0.001) and disease-specific HRQL (parent r = -0.53, P = 0.005; youth r = -0.53, P < 0.001).


Hydroxyurea barriers were frequently reported but differed by dyad members' perspective. Greater barriers were associated with poorer generic and disease-specific HRQL. To reduce barriers to hydroxyurea in youth with sickle cell disease, perspectives of both dyad members should be addressed.


hydroxyurea; medication barriers; quality of life; sickle cell disease

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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