, 6:2,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Feb 2010

Psychosocial impact of sickle cell disorder: perspectives from a Nigerian setting

Abstract

Sickle Cell Disorder is a global health problem with psychosocial implications. Nigeria has the largest population of people with sickle cell disorder, with about 150,000 births annually. This study explored the psychosocial impact of sickle cell disorder in 408 adolescents and adults attending three hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria. A questionnaire was designed for the study, with some of commonly described areas of psychosocial impact including general public perceptions and attitudes, education, employment, and healthcare issues, and emotional responses.

The majority of participants thought that society in general had a negative image of SCD, and reported negative perceptions and attitudes. Some issues in education, employment, and healthcare were expressed, however these were in the minority of cases. The results also showed that depressive feelings were experienced in almost half the study population, even though feelings of anxiety or self-hate were uncommon. Clinical implications of these findings are considered.