Emotional impact in β-thalassaemia major children following cognitive-behavioural family therapy and quality of life of caregiving mothers

Luigi Mazzone, Laura Battaglia, Francesca Andreozzi, Maria Antonietta Romeo, Domenico Mazzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cognitive-Behavioural Family Therapy (CBFT) can be an effective psychological approach for children with β-thalassaemia major, increasing compliance to treatment, lessening the emotional burden of disease, and improving the quality of life of caregivers. Design and methods: Twenty-eight β-thalassaemic major children that followed CBFT for one year were compared with twenty-eight age-matched healthy children, focusing particularly on behavioural, mood, and temperamental characteristics as well as compliance with chelation, assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC), and Emotionality, Activity, Sociability and Shyness Scale (EAS). We also monitored the quality of life of caregiving mothers using the World Health Organization Quality Of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. Data were analysed with non-parametric standard descriptive statistics. Results: 90% of β-Thalassaemic children showed good compliance with chelation therapy; however they had significantly increased somatic complains, physical symptoms and separation panic. Moreover, temperamental assessment revealed high emotionality and poor sociability in treated thalassaemic children and in their mothers. Physical and psychological domains concerning individual's overall perception of quality of life resulted impaired in mothers of β-thalassaemic children. Conclusion: CBFT can be a valid tool to increase the compliance with chelation therapy in β-thalassaemic children; however, treated children continue to show an important emotional burden; moreover, CBFT therapy seems not to have any positive impact on the quality of life of caregiving mothers, who may therefore need additional psychological support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - Feb 23 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Epidemiology


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