People with haemophilia face pain from an early age, with the onset of joint bleeding and the onset of arthropathy, which is related to recurrent joint bleeds. In adolescence and adulthood, the prevalence of haemophiliacs experiencing pain increases, as does the impact of pain in their lives.
In this scenario, a survey has described the perception of pain and its management in people with haemophilia in Italy, both from the point of view of patients and doctors.
The first information retrieved indicates that patients’ pain perception is quite different from that of physicians. Specifically, the percentage of patients reporting chronic pain and suffering was 15% higher than that reported by physicians, while data on patients with acute pain more than double.
Identification of optimal pharmacological treatments for chronic pain remains an unmet need. Implementation and optimisation of customised prophylaxis regimens with standard or extended half-life FVIII/FIX concentrates, taking into account individual clinical needs, could improve patient outcomes, including pain. As such, physicians report that chronic arthropathic pain was the primary reason for switching from on-demand treatment to prophylaxis in 52% of patients.
This first Italian survey revealed discrepancies in awareness of the problem of pain in haemophilia between patients and physicians, highlighting the need to accurately address this clinical challenge through standardised procedures for pain assessment and management.
- Tagliaferri A, Franchini M, Rivolta GF, Farace S, Quintavalle G, Coppola A; on behalf of the ad hoc Study Group. Pain assessment and management in haemophilia: A survey among Italian patients and specialist physicians. Haemophilia. 2018;24:766–773. https://doi. org/10.1111/hae.13600