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Title Self management strategies for people with sickle cell disease in Ghana
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Publication Date
Date Available
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Victoria University of Wellington
Abstract Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the commonest inherited haemoglobinopathy worldwide. Although it is a chronic disease, there is presently no international best practice for self-management of SCD. This exploratory sequential mix-methods study was designed to describe the self-management strategies utilised and their effectiveness for persons with SCD in Ghana. Self-management was conceptualised as actions that concerned preventive health, self-monitoring, self-diagnosing, self-treatment and self-evaluation. A four-stage sequential data collection and analysis process was used. Methods included website review, key informant interviews and surveys. The website review extracted from publically available websites the advice provided to people with SCD regarding keeping well, minimising the development of complications and managing complications. Health professional (n=9) interviews concerned self-management advice and the experiences patients shared of their self-management. Patients with SCD (n=9) and parents of children with SCD (n=10) interviews captured their experiences of self-management; and 112 patients (≥ 16 years) and 201 parents of children (≤15 years) were surveyed about their self-management strategies. Analysis used descriptive and inferential statistics and content and thematic techniques. Patients and parents reported that despite receiving limited clinical advice on self-management they undertook at least one self-management action daily. Most patients reported using multiple strategies; preventive health and maintenance actions were the commonest. Whilst most actions were directed at pain, patients and parents also outlined strategies for managing problems such as fever, leg ulcers, anaemia, priapism, abdominal swelling, jaundice, and hip pain. Most self-management actions were clinically safe, however several unsafe actions identified could pose health risks to patients. Overall, parents tended to be more frequent users of self-management actions for their children than the adults were for themselves. Apart from being an adult or child, self-management was not significantly influenced by key vulnerabilities and contextual factors. Although, many patients and parents had tried traditional practices, most only utilised recommendations from health professionals. Most patients and parents had rated the quality their or their child’s quality of life as good. There is a need for the development of an international, evidenced-informed approach to self-management of SCD. The Ministry of Health, health professionals and the Sickle Cell Association of Ghana could work collectively on this to ensure a culturally appropriate and economically viable approach is developed and implemented.
Subjects/Keywords Sickle cell Disease; Self-Management; Quality of Life; Mixed method; Sequential design
Contributors Nelson, Katherine; Robinson, Brian
Language en
Country of Publication nz
Record ID handle:10063/6265
Repository vuw-diss
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-06-26

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