ISSN - 0973-0958

Pediatric Oncall Journal View Article

Psychosocial Problems Associated with Transfusion Dependent Thalassemia in a Tribal Population
KS Kumaravel, S Jagannathan, J Balaji, NR Karthick, KV Pugalendhiraja.
Department of Pediatrics, Government Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital, Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu, India.
Aim: Children with chron¬ic physical illnesses like thalassemia are vulnerable to psycho-social problems. In the Dharmapuri district of Tamilnadu, increased prevalence of thalassemia is noted in the tribal population at Sitheri. This study is aimed to evaluate the psycho-social problems in the tribal children with thalassemia.
Methods: This is a cross sectional case control study done in the tribal village Sitheri. All the transfusion dependent children in 5 to 15 years age group who were present in the village on the day of visit were included and age and sex matched controls were derived from the tribal school in the same village. The tool used was Developmental Psychopathological Check List (DPCL).
Results: In the study, there were 32 thalassemic children and 32 age and sex matched controls. In the thalassaemia children group, presence of the behavioural disturbance in any of the subscales of DPCL was seen in 26 (81.2%) children. In the control group similar disturbances were documented in 9 (28.1%) children (p <0.001). Learning disorder (53.1% in cases and 15.6% in controls, p <0.001), somatization (46.9% in cases and 0% in controls, p <0.001) and emotional disorders (31.3% in cases and 9.4% in controls, p=0.039) were more common in the cases than in controls.
Conclusion: The high frequency of psycho-social disturbances warrants routine psycho-social screening and therapy for the thalassemic children and it should form a part of standard management protocol.

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