The severity of sickle cell anaemia (SCA) often causes painful episodes of vaso-occlussive crises and affects quality of life. Poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) associated with sickle cell disease has been established. The study aim was to determine the relationship between pain index and HRQoL in Nigerian patients with SCA. The study was a cross-sectional survey of SCA individuals. Data collection was done using socio-demographics and clinical characteristics questionnaire, Wong-Baker FACES pain rating scale, and WHOQoL-Bref. Descriptive, cross-tab and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the data in SPSS® version 20 IBM, USA. A total of 226 SCA individuals (males = 111 (49.1%) and females = 115 (50.9%)) with mean age 28.9±8.5 years participated in this study. Greater than 80% of the SCA individuals with pain had poor HRQoL score. Overall, with the range of statistically significant Chi-square value 49.715-94.474 (Cramer’s V = 0.469-0.647), strong association was observed between pain index and all HRQoL domains. Logistic regression analysis also revealed pain rating (pain relative to no pain) significantly predicted increased odds of affecting physical health (OR = 5.030; 95% CI = 1.094-23.118; P value = 0.038) as well as social and relationship status (OR = 9.443; 95% CI = 3.228-27.618; P value < 0.001) among SCA individuals. In conclusion, individuals with SCA largely have poor HRQoL. However, pain affects domains of HRQoL, particularly the physical health and social and relationship status domains of health.
Key words: Sickle cell anaemia (SCA), pain, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQoL-Bref).
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