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Depression and thalassemia in children, adolescents and adults

Thalassaemia consists one of the most common chronic and genetic hematological disorder, globally. Moreover, is a serious life-limiting and potentially life-threatening disease that causes substantial disruption in all dimensions of life. As more effective management and even cure of thalassemia become possible, attention is drawn to the evaluation of depression that frequently ollows suffering individuals. Aim : The aim of this study was to review knowledge about depression in thalassemia detailing in children, adolescents, adults. Method : The method of this study included bibliographic review of the literature, mainly in the PubMed data base, which referred to depression in thalassemic children, adolescents, adults. The search of the literature was conducted from 2001 to 2012 using the following key search terms: “depression”, “thalassaemia in children-adolescents-adults". Results : Improvement of therapeutic regimen has significantly increased life expectancy of thalassemic patients but at the same time has created significant ongoing health care needs. According to the literature, depression involved in surviving thalassaemia is increasingly recognized, globally. The main factors triggering the onset of depression are personal, family, social or hereditary. Depressed thalassemic children, adolescents and adults face many difficulties in all facets of life. More in detail, depression in thalassemia is mainly related with low school or job performance, social isolation, failure of independence, maladaptive coping strategies, compromised physical ability and limited life opportunities. Provision of accurate information to thalasssemic individuals about the therapeutic regimen by expertise health professionals is a key-factor that plays a vital role on the outcome of depression. Conclusions : Regular screening for depressive symptoms is essential to identify at-risk individuals so as to provide appropriate psychological support with ultimate goal to improve both emotional and physical health.

Author(s): Koutelekos John

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