Clinical Impact of Children with Sickle Cell Anaemia on their Caregivers’ coping ability at a tertiary hospital in North Western Nigeria

Introduction: Caregivers of children with Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) are exposed to intense pressure of taking care of their children with the risk of developing psychological problems which could affect their coping abilities. The study aimed to assess the clinical impact of children with SCA on coping abilities of their caregivers in order to improve the care of the children with SCA and the coping abilities of their caregivers.

Methods: It was a cross sectional study carried out at the Sickle Cell clinic at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, North-Western Nigeria. All consecutive eligible caregivers of children with SCA attending the Sickle clinic from February to April 2016 were recruited till the desire sample size of 133 was met. The coping ability domain of the structured Sickle Cell Disease Burden Interview (SCDBI) was used. Ethical clearance was obtained from the ethical committee of Kaduna State Ministry of Health.

Results: Sixty three (47.4%) of the caregivers were more than 35 years of age. Majority were Hausas 84 (63.2%), Muslims 100 (75.2%) and married 114 (85.7%). Only 45 (33.8%) had secondary education, 43 (32.3%) were unemployed and 42 (31.6%) were unskilled laborers. There was significant association between coping ability of the caregivers and school absenteeism of their children (p=0.030).

Conclusion: School absenteeism of children with SCA affects the coping ability of their caregivers. There is need for prevention of recurrent crisis to avoid school absenteeism.

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