Switching between clotting factor products is becoming increasingly common as product choice increases and financial pressure grows to choose the most cost-effective options. Guidance on carrying out the switch recommends a complex and long process that may benefit from being defined in a protocol. Haemophilia nurses may be responsible for managing product switches; anecdotal evidence suggests that clinical practice is variable.
To explore the role of specialist nurses in switching between clotting factor products and their use of a protocol.
Nurses attending the 2018 World Federation of Hemophilia Congress were surveyed about clinical practice at their treatment centre and use of a protocol for switching clotting factor products.
Of 192 nurses attending the conference, 49 nurses returned completed questionnaires, 45 of which were included in the study after exclusions. Responses were exclusively from economically developed countries. Almost all respondents (96%) had direct experience of switching. Half of those who responded to a question about protocol-based switching reported that switches were based on a protocol. When authorship was reported, the protocol was written by haemophilia nurses in about half of cases. Practice about blood testing to determine individual pharmacokinetic parameters prior to the switch was variable, but most nurses (86%) reported screening for inhibitors prior to switching. Respondents agreed to share their protocols among their peers, although only four were received by the research team.
Clinical practice in switching between clotting factor products is variable. Some nurses are switching treatments for patients without the supported of a written protocol, whereas others are involved in writing and implementing protocols. Sharing protocols is a first step in helping to establish best practice.
Patients with haemophilia who are not adequately treated experience a lifetime burden of joint complications and loss of functional ability due to repeated bleeding episodes caused by low levels of clotting factor VIII or IX in the blood. These complications can significantly impact day-to-day life, including active participation in school and academic study in children with haemophilia (CwH). Treatment with factor replacement therapy can help to prevent this, but access to factor has been challenging in low-resource settings such as Northeast India. This study shows the impact of factor replacement therapy on bleeding episodes, joint complications and school absence among CwH in this setting.
A retrospective observational study was undertaken to examine the impact of receiving regular factor replacement therapy (prophylaxis or on demand) on school absences among CwH registered with the haemophilia treatment centre at Assam Medical College and Hospital. Annual bleed rate (ABR), Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) and Functional Independence Score in Haemophilia (FISH) were also assessed.
Thirty-eight CwH were eligible for the study; 26 (68.4%) were on prophylaxis therapy and 12 (31.5%) received on-demand therapy. In the year before starting regular treatment, the mean ABR was 37.8 (+20.0), HJHS was 31.1 (+18.1) and mean FISH score was 21.1 (+4.2). At the end of the study period the mean (+SD) ABR in prophylactic therapy was significantly lower at 5.8 (+4.6) (p<0.001) and the HJHS was significantly lower at 4.7 (+4.6). FISH score significantly improved to 27.9 (+3.3) (p<0.001). Prophylaxis showed better (but not significant) results in comparison to on-demand therapy.
Treatment with factor replacement significantly reduces school absence in CwH and correlates strongly with joint health and functional improvement, with the effect slightly better with prophylaxis than on-demand therapy. Low dose prophylaxis is a good treatment option in low-resource settings, but improvements are also needed in rates of diagnosis.
The use of corticosteroids might be associated with the sequelae of psychiatric comorbidity – manic and depressive symptoms, psychosis, and cognitive impairment.
We report a case of the 35 years old man who presented seven months period of irritability, occasional low mood, and sleep disturbances without the concurrent hallucinations or delusions. The patient had a history of nephrotic syndrome and for this reason, required prednisolone. The corticosteroid induced irritability that has appeared three months after the treatment has started. The psychiatric examination showed neither the psychomotor retardation, manic or depressed mood, nor hallucinations and delusions. However, the level of irritability was undoubtedly increased.
Corticosteroids are drugs commonly used in many systemic diseases. During a psychiatric examination, a careful evaluation is necessary to distinguish the side effects of corticosteroids from the primary psychiatric disorders.
Factor replacement is currently the standard of care to prevent or treat bleeding episodes in haemophilia patients. This study examined current prescribing practices of factor therapy for patients at haemophilia treatment centres (HTCs) in the United States.
The aims were to evaluate the driving forces for prescribing factor products, to evaluate current attitudes and knowledge toward factor product and industry, and to discuss the implications for health care providers in practice.
An anonymous electronic survey was distributed to 744 HTC health care providers (HCPs); 118 responses were analysed.
The most common driving force for HCPs to change a patient's factor product was poor response to current therapy, while the most common perception of patients’ motivation to switch products was the potential for fewer infusions. HCPs with strong influence over the prescribed therapy identified inadequate pharmacokinetic (PK) studies as an important driving force; patients/caregivers perceived as having a strong influence over which therapy is prescribed selected less frequent dosing as an important motivator. HCPs who allow patients/caregivers to have a strong influence over which factor is prescribed were more likely to cite patient/caregiver request as a significant driving force for change in therapy.
The haemophilia treatment landscape continues to evolve and is becoming increasingly complex. The multitude of treatment options available now offer choices, presenting a need to focus on patient-centric prophylaxis.
Pain associated with bleeding disorders has been demonstrated to have an impact on patients’ and families’ quality of life. Both acute and chronic pain are common experiences and require attention by professionals working in haemophilia treatment centres (HTCs). The benefits of psychological pain management strategies such as cognitive behaviour therapy and self-management skills training are well documented; however, it is not well understood how Canadian social workers involved in haemophilia care perceive and provide pain management support to patients.
To explore the current understanding of pain management and practice as well as the education needs of members of Canadian Social Workers in Hemophilia Care (CSWHC).
Twelve semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with members of CSWHC. Transcribed interviews were coded with NVivo software and thematically analysed.
The four key themes reflecting the experiences of social workers are: 1) Limited comprehension of key issues related to pain; 2) Conditioning to push through pain; 3) Expanding pain knowledge to enhance practice; 4) How we practice social work and choose to step in.
The current practice of CSWHC members aligns with literature in three main areas including assessment, instrumental services, and counselling. Social workers support the development of pain education and practical resources for patients with haemophilia who experience pain. While formal education, advocacy, and policy development of pain assessment and management are recognised, these areas require further research and development.
Some studies suggest that people with haemophilia (PwH) who use prophylaxis value low frequency of clotting factor administration more than a lower risk of bleeding. However, more frequent infusions offer the potential of reducing joint disease and pain, which in turn may improve functioning and quality of life.
To explore the impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) aspects of haemophilia associated with adherence and annual infusion rate in the context of factors influencing treatment that are important to patients, including prophylaxis, chronic pain, concomitant conditions and hospital admission.
Materials and methods
HRQoL was assessed in participants with severe haemophilia in the ‘Cost of Haemophilia in Europe: a Socioeconomic Survey’ (CHESS) study who were using prophylaxis. Patients using on-demand treatment were excluded. This multivariate analysis examined the interaction between factors potentially influencing treatment and HRQoL, and minor and major bleeds.
From the total CHESS population (n=1,285), 338 (26%) participants provided responses for major and minor bleeds and target joints, and 145 (11%) provided EQ-5D-3L responses. Major and minor bleeds were associated with pain. Patients with severe chronic pain reported a substantial negative impact on HRQoL; but this was significantly improved by increases in the annual infusion rate. This was not apparent in participants with mild or moderate pain.
Increasing the frequency of prophylaxis infusions is associated with improved quality of life in PwH who have severe chronic pain. However, increasing the number of infusions per week in those with mild or moderate chronic pain with the intention of improving prophylactic effect may not have the same effect.
A growing body of evidence supports the recommendation of both physiotherapy and physical activity in people with haemophilia. Physical benefits include increasing strength and flexibility and reducing the risks of osteoporosis, arthropathy, and intramuscular and joint bleeds; social benefits have also been observed. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that people with haemophilia may still be averse to engaging with physical activity due to fears of causing bleeding, joint pain and joint damage.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with young men with haemophilia treated at comprehensive care centres in London, to explore and identify the reasons behind risk-averse behaviours towards exercise and physical activity. The interview questions were designed to prompt discussion and capture opinions relating to participants’ physical activity and gym membership/use, and the degree to which their haemophilia impacts on both.
Ten participants were interviewed. Preferred activities were variable, with five participants describing themselves as very physically active, three moderately active, and two reporting little physical activity; four described themselves as ‘not gym-confident’. Seven participants described themselves as highly or moderately motivated to undertake physical activity, with motivations including weight loss and getting fit for summer holidays. However, there was some anxiety around weight-bearing exercise due to the fear of pain or injury. All participants had been exposed to personal trainers (PTs) and recognised the importance of being properly introduced to training equipment but felt that PTs were too expensive for them. The majority of participants reported sports-related injuries and self-perceived limitations on activity due to their personal/individual experience of living with haemophlia. Physiotherapists were often the first point of contact for advice and support on safe physical activity. All participants recognised the benefits of physical activity and had been encouraged in this by their physiotherapists.
Young men with haemophilia are keen to use the gym as part of their personal fitness regimens. The ongoing safety concerns of health care professionals warrants further research.
Adherence to treatment recommendations in patients with chronic disease is complex and is influenced by numerous factors. Haemophilia is a chronic disease with reported levels of adherence ranging from 17–82%.
Based on the theoretical foundation of the World Health Organization Multidimensional Adherence Model, the objective of this study was to identify the best combination of the variables infusion frequency, annualised bleed rate, age, distance to haemophilia treatment centre (HTC) and Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS), to predict adherence to treatment recommendations in patients with haemophilia A and B on home infusion prophylaxis in Canada.
A one-year retrospective cohort study investigated adherence to treatment recommendations using two measures: 1) subjective report via home infusion diaries, and 2) objective report of inventory ordered from Canadian Blood Services. Stepwise regression was performed for both measures.
Eighty-seven patients with haemophilia A and B, median age 21 years, were included. Adherence for both measures was 81% and 93% respectively. The sample consisted largely of patients performing an infusion frequency of every other day (34%). Median scores on the HJHS was 10.5; annualised bleed rate was two. Distance to the HTC was 51km. Analysis of the objective measure weakly supported greater infusion frequency as a treatment-related factor for the prediction of lower adherence, however the strength of this relationship was not clinically relevant (R2=0.048). For the subjective measure, none of the explanatory variables were significant.
Adherence is a multifaceted construct. Despite the use of theory, most of the variance in adherence to treatment recommendations in this sample of patients with haemophilia remains unknown. Further research on other potential predictors of adherence, and possible variables and relationships within factors of the MAM is required.
Haemophilia is a rare hereditary haemorrhagic disease caused by coagulation factor VIII (haemophilia A) or IX (haemophilia B) deficiency. Very few data exist on this disease in Congo. This survey aims to describe the epidemiological and clinical aspects of the children affected.
Materials and methods
A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in the haematology department of the Brazzaville University Hospital over a period of two years. Children (under 18 years of age) with haemophilia and with a factor VIII or IX level less than or equal to 30% were identified. The parameters analysed included age, diagnostic delay, type and severity of haemophilia, type and frequency of bleeding manifestations, complications and history of transfusion.
Nineteen patients were identified with an average age at diagnosis of four years. The average time to diagnosis was six years, and the most frequent first known bleeding episode was haemorrhage during circumcision. Family history was found in 14 cases. There were 13 cases of haemophilia A and six cases of haemophilia B. Fourteen cases were severe haemophilia; no mild cases were identified. Haemorrhagic manifestations included haemarthrosis, haematomas and mucocutaneous haemorrhages. The average number of haemorrhagic episodes per year was 12. Haemophilic arthropathy was present at diagnosis in seven cases, with the main location being the knee. The average number of hospitalisations before diagnosis was two. Sixteen patients had been transfused at least once.
Although circumcision is the most frequent first known haemorrhagic manifestation of haemophilia in Congo, patients are often diagnosed late, sometimes with severe osteoarticular complications. Further measures are needed to help ensure early diagnosis and improve care.
Management of haemophilia A requires administration of factor VIII therapy which, for those with severe haemophilia A in the UK, is predominantly self-administered at home in a prophylactic regimen to prevent or minimise bleeding. The UK undertakes a national tendering process every three years to ensure access to current and new therapies at a cost-effective price, through contracting for large volumes from individual suppliers. This means that some products may no longer be available and that new products can enter the UK market at any tendering stage.
In the latest tendering round, in 2018, more than one product was withdrawn from the UK market and a new product (NovoEight®; Novo Nordisk) was added to the prescribing list. This meant people with haemophilia having to change products. The experience of 77 people with haemophilia or their carers who changed treatment products during this process was captured by questionnaires administered by haemophilia nurses from 12 treatment centres. Overall, although people with haemophilia felt that they had little influence in decision making about changing to NovoEight, they were confident with their new treatment including packaging and accessories for administration. This was seen more in those who switched from plasma-derived products where ease of infusion was rated highly. Users’ views of haemophilia treatment should be collected at times of change to identify facilitators and barriers experienced in self-management