Health-related quality of life in patients with sickle cell disease in Saudi Arabia

Anwar E. Ahmed*, Ahmed S. Alaskar, Ahmad M. Al-Suliman, Abdul Rahman Jazieh, Donna K. McClish, Majid Al Salamah, Yosra Z. Ali, Hafiz Malhan, May Anne Mendoza, Abdulrahman O. Gorashi, Mohamed E. El-toum, Wala E. El-toum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: There is a lack of research concerning health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Saudi patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), particularly among adult populations. The aim of the current study was to describe the characteristics of SCD patients and their impact on their quality of life (QoL). Methods: Six hundred twenty-nine adult SCD patients who attended King Fahad Hospital in Hofuf and King Fahad Central Hospital in Jazan were included in the analysis. Demographic/clinical data were collected and an Arabic version of the Medical Outcomes 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire was used to assess QoL. Results: SCD patients who hold a university degree reported positive impacts on the following domains of SF-36: physical role function, vitality, emotional well being, social function, pain reduction, and general health (P = .002, P = .001, P = .001, P = .003, P = .004, and P = .001, respectively). In general, patients with fever, skin redness, swelling, or history of blood transfusion tended to impair the health status of the SF-36. A multivariate analysis revealed that patients with a university degree tended to report high scores of physical role functions, emotional role function, and vitality. Patients with regular exercise tend to increase vitality, social function, general health, and reduce pain. Unemployment tends to lessen vitality and worsen pain. On average, pain, social function, and physical function scores tended to worsen in patients with swelling or history of blood transfusion. Conclusions: This study highlighted that poor education, fever, skin redness, and swelling were negatively associated with specific components of SF-36. SCD patients with a history of blood transfusion found their QoL poorer, whereas regular exercise tended to improve QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • SF-36
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sickle cell disease


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