Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 733–747 | Cite as

Self-rated psychosocial consequences and quality of life in the acute porphyrias

  • L. M. Millward
  • P. Kelly
  • A. Deacon
  • V. Senior
  • T. J. Peters


A battery of self-report psychosocial measures was mailed to 116 patients who had been referred for clinical management (clinic attenders) or laboratory diagnosis (non-clinic attenders) to the London Supraregional Assay Service Centre for Porphyria over the past decade and who tested positive for porphyria. Usable replies were received from 81 (70%) patients. Our interest focused on the prevalence of psychosocial symptoms in acute porphyrias and the perceived effects of porphyria on quality of life and patient experience. Research questions examined included (i), lifestyle factors; (ii) life events; (iii) mental health; (iv) general health; and (v) perceptions of illness of patients receiving specialist clinical management compared to respondents referred for diagnostic investigations, between patients with latent or manifest symptomology and between patients with different types of porphyria.

Patients with porphyria have an impaired quality of life, particularly manifest cases, compared to controls and to diabetic patients. Depression, and particularly anxiety, is more common than in the general population or general medical outpatient attenders. Quality of life is lower in acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) than in other forms of porphyria and a significant number of patients had major life event consequences, e.g. failure to secure, or loss of, employment, limitation of family size. Patients attending a clinic providing specialist porphyria advice, management and counselling received some perceived lifestyle benefits.


Porphyria Laboratory Diagnosis Major Life Diagnostic Investigation Event Consequence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Millward
    • 1
  • P. Kelly
    • 1
  • A. Deacon
    • 1
  • V. Senior
    • 1
  • T. J. Peters
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Clinical Biochemistry and Psychological Medicine and Psychology Research Group, GKT School of MedicineKing's CollegeLondonUK

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