Evaluation of Mental Health and Physical Pain in Patients with β-Thalassemia Major in Northern Greece.
Vlachaki E., Neokleous N., Paspali D., Vetsiou E., Onoufriadis E., Sousos N., Hissan S., Vakalopoulou S., Garypidou V., Boura P.
β-Thalassemia major (β-TM) is a chronic, genetic blood disorder. Patients are considered to be vulnerable to emotional and behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to assess mental health and somatic pain of patients with homozygous β-TM, who are systematically transfused in our unit. In this survey, 54 adult patients were studied. The general health questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used as mental health assessment model aimed at detecting mental disorders. The model of Binary was used as scoring method of GHQ-28. Overall ratings below 5 indicate no psychiatric problem, while a total score over or equal to 5 indicated the likelihood of a psychiatric disorder. The visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain was used as model for pain evaluation. One out of four examined patients who presented with a GHQ-28 score above or equal to 5 had an increased chance of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Concerning the pain, the majority of the studied patients scored between 1 and 3, meaning that they were feeling mild pain. There was no statistical significant correlation between age and GHQ-28 score. There was a statistical significant correlation between age and somatic symptoms (p = 0.026), anxiety and somatic symptoms (0.004) as well as anxiety and depression (p = 0.022). Thalassemic patients tend to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and it seems that they do not feel severe pain. More quantitative and comprehensive studies have to be conducted in order to estimate specific effective factors in psychosocial health.