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DEPRESSION AMONG CAREGIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH THALASSEMIA MAJOR
Author(s): ,
Santanu Sen
Affiliations:
Dept of Paediatric Oncology & BMT,Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital,Mumbai,India
,
Shyla Sen
Affiliations:
PPS Junior International College,Mumbai,India
,
Sameer Tulpule
Affiliations:
Dept of Haematology & BMT,Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital,Mumbai,India
,
Khushnuma Mullanfiroze
Affiliations:
Dept of Paediatric Oncology & BMT,Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital,Mumbai,India
Shweta Gupta
Affiliations:
Dept of Haematology & BMT,Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital,Mumbai,India
EHA Library. Sen S. 05/16/19; 268281; PB2410
Santanu Sen
Santanu Sen
Contributions
Abstract

Abstract: PB2410

Type: Publication Only

Background
Caregivers of patients with thalasemia devote a significant proportion of their time to meet their ongoing medical needs. This can adversely affect the time dedicated to their other children, and as carriers of the disease, they may be burdened significant feelings of guilt and inadequecy. We evaluated symptoms of depression among parents of these patients by PHQ-9, a well validated screening tool for assessing depression.

Aims
To determine the incidence of mental health issues among caregivers of children with thalassemia.

Methods
Parents and caregivers of patients with thalassemia in a Haemoglobinopathy Clinic were screened over a 2-month period using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Responses were tabulated and analysed and the responses from male and female caregivers were analysed and compared separately.

Results
Parents of of 98 thalassemia patients were screened during the study. Responses were obtained from 75 fathers and 98 mothers of patients. Overall among all parents, 34% screened positive for minor or major symptoms of depression. Among the fathers, 34% had minor symptoms on screening, but none had any symptoms of major depression. Whereas, among the mothers, only 11% had minor symptoms with 24% had major symptoms. In fact, in this cohort 7% of mothers had severe major depression. No thoughts of self harm were voiced by any caregivers, but 80% of fathers voiced feelings of inadequacy and 34% mentioned anger issues. In contrast, feelings of inadequacy or anger issues were voiced by only 14% of mothers.

Conclusion
Our study showed that almost a third of parents of children with thalassemia were suffering from depression and we recommend all parents should have access to proper counselling, with active screening and access to appropriate services. It was concerning to note that mothers were more liable to major depression requiring therapy. Though fathers were noted to have less severe symptoms of depression, more than 80% harboured feelings of guilt and inadequacy. As physicians, we need to be actively aware of the mental health issues of thalassemia parents and be vigilant to help them access appropriate services as required.

Session topic: 27. Thalassemias

Abstract: PB2410

Type: Publication Only

Background
Caregivers of patients with thalasemia devote a significant proportion of their time to meet their ongoing medical needs. This can adversely affect the time dedicated to their other children, and as carriers of the disease, they may be burdened significant feelings of guilt and inadequecy. We evaluated symptoms of depression among parents of these patients by PHQ-9, a well validated screening tool for assessing depression.

Aims
To determine the incidence of mental health issues among caregivers of children with thalassemia.

Methods
Parents and caregivers of patients with thalassemia in a Haemoglobinopathy Clinic were screened over a 2-month period using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Responses were tabulated and analysed and the responses from male and female caregivers were analysed and compared separately.

Results
Parents of of 98 thalassemia patients were screened during the study. Responses were obtained from 75 fathers and 98 mothers of patients. Overall among all parents, 34% screened positive for minor or major symptoms of depression. Among the fathers, 34% had minor symptoms on screening, but none had any symptoms of major depression. Whereas, among the mothers, only 11% had minor symptoms with 24% had major symptoms. In fact, in this cohort 7% of mothers had severe major depression. No thoughts of self harm were voiced by any caregivers, but 80% of fathers voiced feelings of inadequacy and 34% mentioned anger issues. In contrast, feelings of inadequacy or anger issues were voiced by only 14% of mothers.

Conclusion
Our study showed that almost a third of parents of children with thalassemia were suffering from depression and we recommend all parents should have access to proper counselling, with active screening and access to appropriate services. It was concerning to note that mothers were more liable to major depression requiring therapy. Though fathers were noted to have less severe symptoms of depression, more than 80% harboured feelings of guilt and inadequacy. As physicians, we need to be actively aware of the mental health issues of thalassemia parents and be vigilant to help them access appropriate services as required.

Session topic: 27. Thalassemias

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