Comparison of Blood Transfusion Plus Chelation Therapy and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Patients with β-Thalassemia: Application of SF-36, EQ-5D, and Visual Analogue Scale Measures

Mehdi Javanbakht, Ali Keshtkaran, Hossien Shabaninejad, Hassan Karami, Maryam Zakerinia, Sajad Delavari

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BACKGROUND: β-Thalassemia is a prevalent genetic disease in Mediterranean countries. The most common treatments for this disease are blood transfusion plus iron chelation (BTIC) therapy and bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Patients using these procedures experience different health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The purpose of the present study was to measure HRQoL in these patients using 2 different multiattribute quality of life (QoL) scales.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, data were gathered using 3 instruments: a socio-demographic questionnaire, EQ-5D, and SF-36. A total of 196 patients with β-thalassemia were randomly selected from 2 hospitals in Shiraz (Southern Iran). Data were analyzed using logistic regression and multiple regression models to identify factors that affect the patients' HRQoL.

RESULTS: The average EQ-5D index and EQ visual analog scale (VAS) scores were 0.86 (95% CI: 0.83-0.89) and 71.85 (95% CI: 69.13-74.58), respectively. Patients with BMT reported significantly higher EQ VAS scores (83.27 vs 68.55, respectively). The results showed that patients who lived in rural area and patients with BMT reported higher EQ VAS scores (rural; β= 10.25, P = .006 and BMT; β= 11.88, P = .000). As well, SF-36 between 2 groups of patients were statistically significant in physical component scale (PCS).

CONCLUSION: Patients in the BMT group experienced higher HRQoL in both physical and mental aspects compared to those in the BTIC group. More studies are needed to assess the relative cost-effectiveness of these methods in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-740
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of health policy and management
Issue number11
Early online date13 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015



  • β-Thalassemia
  • Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL)
  • blood transfusion
  • bone marrow transplantation

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