Awareness among Parents of Beta Thalassemia Major and Intermedia Patients in Three Centers in Baghdad and Al-Nasiriyah, Iraq in 2017
Background: Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive disease common in Iraq with a prevalence of 35.7 per 100000. Beta thalassemia major is a life-threatening condition with many complications which if not managed could cause death at an early age. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the awareness of parents/caregivers of children with beta-thalassemia major and intermedia, as enhancing awareness is the first and the most important step in all prevention programs
Methods: We conducted this study in three thalassemia centers (two in Baghdad and one in Al-Nasiriyah) from July 20th, 2017 to September 20th, 2017. This study involved 193 parents of thalassemic children under the age of 15 who come to the centers frequently for blood transfusion. The study assessed the awareness questionnaire through interviews. Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program (SPSS) version 24.
Results: We found that awareness was low in many aspects. The highest knowledge was for foods that thalassemic patients shouldn't eat and for the early manifestation signs in thalassemic patients which is 94.8% and 86%, respectively. The lowest knowledge was for the consideration of human immune deficiency virus as a transfusion-transmitted disease and for the chance of having an affected child when both parents are carriers which were 37.3% and 11.9%, respectively.
Conclusion: Parents have low awareness of thalassemia in many aspects. Thalassemia care centers may need to provide more education for the parents of patients with thalassemia.
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