Quality of Life in Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia Patients in Greece Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic



The peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenging situation for transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT) patients. The objectives of this study were to measure the quality of life (QoL) in TDT patients during the COVID-19 lockdown restriction measures, compare the results with the pre-COVID-19 era, and evaluate the influence of sociodemographic and clinical factors on QoL.


This was a cross-sectional study of 110 consecutively selected adult TDT patients, during the stringent lockdown restriction measures implemented in Greece. All participants completed a combination of 2 QoL questionnaires, the generic Short-Form Health Survey 36 version 2 and the disease-specific Transfusion-Quality of life (TranQol). We used the “1/2 SD method,” a distribution-based approach to calculate minimal clinically important differences and clinically compare the QoL scores between the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 era. A backward stepwise linear regression was selected to explore the influence of potential predictors on TranQol scores.


The Short-Form Health Survey 36 version 2 and TranQol scores remained low but not clinically different compared with the pre-COVID-19 era. Older, married, and higher educated TDT patients exhibited significantly lower TranQol summary scores. The patients who reported a negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly lower TranQol scores in summary and all subdomains except for school and career.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall QoL of TDT patients was clinically similar to the status of the pre-COVID-19 era. Nevertheless, most of the significant QoL subdomains were negatively affected, and distinct groups of TDT patients were more vulnerable.


Philippos Klonizakis Robert J. Klaassen Noémi Roy Ioanna Papatsouma Maria Mainou Ioanna Christodoulou Apostolos Tsapas Efthymia Vlachaki

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