In addition to clinical manifestations, people with haemophilia also face psychosocial issues, such as uncertainty, social restriction, and unemployment, which have also been associated with emotional disorders. Therefore, current guidelines for optimal haemophilia care establish psychosocial health promotion as a priority, along with bleeding prevention and complication management.
A recent study found significant symptoms of anxiety and depression in 36.3% and 27.5% of haemophilic patients, respectively.
Results showed a substantial percentage of participants with significant symptoms and association of anxiety and depression, with clinical and psychosocial outcomes. It was also seen that occupational status, physical activity, pain interference, and perception of consequences underlying haemophilia were associated with increased symptomatology.
Given these associations, and regardless of whether emotional distress is a cause or consequence of disease and treatment problems, a promising strategy for improving haemophilia outcomes would be indeed the effective management of emotional distress experienced by patients. A thorough psychological assessment, including appropriate screening for anxiety and depression, would therefore be optimal in haemophilia care, in view of a more systemic approach and integrated care.
- Pinto PR, Paredes AC, Moreira P, et al. Emotional distress in haemophilia: Factors associated with the presence of anxiety and depression symptoms among adults. Haemophilia. 2018;00:1-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/hae.13548