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Effect of oral iron chelation therapy with deferiprone (L1) on the psychosocial status of thalassaemia patients

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image of Haematologia

β-Thalassemia requires life-long treatment, including regular blood transfusion and daily iron chelation by desferrioxamine, which places considerable burden on the social and psychological life of patients. It is expected that oral chelation therapy, which is easier to administer, would improve their psychosocial status. In this sutdy,interviews were conducted with a series of 44 patients recently placed on oral chelation therapy to evaluate their reactions to the new treatment. Eighty-six per cent of patients complied better with the oral chelation therapy. Fifty per cent of patients mentioned that relief from the desferrioxamine pump was the major improvement, while 47% felt psychologically better. Fifty per cent of patients noted improvements in their relationships, while 63% noted increased social activities. Evaluation of a larger sample of patients over a longer period of time is needed in order to confirm the favourable results obtained in this study.


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