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Healthcare Utilization and the Quality of Life of Children and Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Kendall Moody
Kendall Moody
Howard University
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Abstract

Introduction: Youth diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) often utilize the healthcare setting to manage disease-related symptoms, yet the connection between healthcare use and their overall wellbeing has been understudied. This study investigates whether healthcare utilization predicts the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in youth with SCD. It is hypothesized that increased healthcare utilization will predict lower HRQOL in pediatric SCD. Methods: A total of 150 patients, ages 8-17 years old, were enrolled in this cross-sectional quantitative study. Patients completed the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) 3.0 SCD module, while the researcher conducted a retrospective chart review to gather patient characteristics such as emergency room (ER) and hospitalization occurrences over the past 12 months. Results: A higher frequency of ER visits (p < .05) and hospitalizations (p < .01) predicted lower HRQOL scores. Age (p < .05) also emerged as a significant predictor for both regression models. Discussion: As youth with SCD require ER treatment and/or hospital admission, they are at increased risk for lower HRQOL, specifically as they get older.