Volume 63, Issue 1 (5 2005)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2005, 63(1): 18-23 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (7014 Views)

Background: The aim of this study is to describe the mental health and social profile of adolescent thalassemic patients through self-report and GHQ-12 test.

Materials and Methods: With convenience sampling, 156 consecutive adolescent thalassemic patients, recruited during a 20month period, filled in a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire in addition to a GHQ-12 questionnaire.

Results: 100 cases (64.1%) denied having health problems. 71 patients (45.5%) described their health status as not bad and 39 cases (25%) as good. The average GHQ-score was 6.12 (0.95 CI- 5.69-6.56). Nine cases (5.8%) scored low (0-1) and 21 cases (13.5%) scored borderline (2-3), while the score of 124 patients (79.5%) was favorable (4-12). There was a significant difference between mean scores in different age groups (p= 0.036) and 78 percent of those with low scores were in their late adolescent period (18-21 yrs). 15 patients (9.6%) had quit school due to their health problems. Mean GHQ score for quitters was significantly lower than those going on with their studies (p= 0.017).

Conclusion: These adolescent thalassemic patients seemed to have coped properly with their disease. Possibility of denial should also be considered. Further studies for detection of high-risk groups for psychosocial derangements can help us in applying appropriate and timely preventive and supportive measures.

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