Knowledge, attitude and use of hydroxuyrea among adult sickle cell disease patients
Introduction: Hydroxyurea is the only cytotoxic drug approved for use in the care of sickle cell disease patients. It has been found to be effective in fixed low dose in low resource economy where the cost of the drug and frequent monitoring may be a barrier. This study looked at the knowledge, attitude and use of hydroxyurea in a low resource country with a high burden of the disease.
Methods: Data was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire in 101 consecutive adult sickle cell disease patients in a tertiary health care facility.
Results: All the patients responded to the questionnaire, majority (67%) of the respondents were below 40years with equal numbers of male and female patients. Of the respondents, 15.5% have > 3 painful crises in a year. Half of the respondents were not admitted in the preceding year with 6 (5.9%) of them having had >3 admissions. Less than a quarter (21.2%) had knowledge of hydroxyurea, but 52.5% were willing to use the drug while 4.3% had previously or are currently using it. Only 11 respondents were aware of the side effects and the information was mostly through their Physicians. Those willing to use the drug were also willing to attend follow-up clinic monthly.
Conclusion: Though the awareness about hydroxyurea is low in our group of patients, many are willing to use the medication and attend follow up clinics. There is a need to create more awareness about the drug especially by Physicians who care for the patients.
Keywords: Attitude, Hydroxyurea, Knowledge, Sickle cell disease, Low-income-country
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