Living with an inhibitor: Results from the Study of Haemophilia Experiences, Results and Opportunities in Children and young adults with long-standing inhibitors (the SO-HEROIC study)

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Abstract

Long-standing inhibitors present many day-today difficulties for the affected individual; the unpredictability of bleeds, bleed management, pain and treatment efficacy all affect quality of life. This study explored these issues through focus groups of affected individuals aged 16-25 in the UK. The data from the focus groups was analysed for recurring themes, which were coded under three umbrella headings: ‘daily impact’, ‘education and future’ and ‘resilience and support’. Participants felt isolated through geography and being extra ‘rare’ within the bleeding disorders community; used pain as a gauge of bleed resolution, often without use of analgesia; described transition to adult care as particularly worrying; and explained the potential impact of living with an inhibitor on future career options. Peer-to-peer networking could provide emotional support for these young adults, who could also be role models for the future. Despite the burden of living with an inhibitor and its treatment, participants described a good quality of life from their own perspectives. With new therapeutic options for these individuals on the horizon, they look forward to a future with fewer bleeds and less pain.

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