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Evaluation of health-related quality of life and muscular strength in children with beta thalassemia major

Dina K. Ismail
Mona H. El-Tagui
Zeinab A. Hussein
Mohamed A. Eid
Sobhy M. Aly


Background: Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that requires repeated blood transfusions and chelation regimes. This may lead to restrictions in physical activities, social participation as well as decreased muscle strength.

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL), muscular strength and pain in children with β-thalassemia major.

Patients and method: One hundred and twenty children (60 with β-thalassemia major and 60 age-matched healthy) were participated in a cross-sectional study from both sexes (57 girls and 63 boys) with ages ranging from two to twelve years. HRQoL (physical, emotional, social and school functioning), muscular strength and pain were evaluated for all children by using the pediatric quality of life inventoryTM (PedsQLTM) 4.0 generic core scale, hand-held dynamometer and visual analogue scale (VAS) respectively.

Results: Children with β-thalassemia major showed a significant decrease in all domains of health-related quality of life and handgrip strength with a significant increase in VAS score (p ≤ 0.0001).

Conclusions: The study concluded that thalassemia as a chronic disease has a negative impact on HRQoL and muscle strength of children in different age group.

Keywords: Beta thalassemia, Quality of life, Handgrip strength, children