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Keywords:

  • haemophilia;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • psychosocial

Summary

Psychosocial factors have a significant impact on the quality of life of persons with haemophilia (PWH). The Haemophilia Experiences, Results and Opportunities (HERO) initiative was developed to provide a greater understanding of the psychological components which influence the lives of PWH. This article describes the HERO methodology and the characteristics of respondents. Two online surveys (one for adult PWH ≥18 years and one for parents of children <18 years with haemophilia) were developed by an international advisory board and conducted in 10 countries. The surveys included demographic and treatment characteristics, relationships, sexual intimacy, quality of life, barriers to treatment and sources of information. A total of 675 PWH [age, median (range) 36 (18–86 years)] and 561 parents [39 (23–68 years)] completed the survey. PWH/parents reported haemophilia A (74%/76%), B (13%/16%) or with inhibitors (13%/8%). Spontaneous joint bleeding was reported in 76%/52% of PWH/children with haemophilia A, 67%/47% with haemophilia B and 93%/76% with inhibitors. Median number of bleeds (interquartile range) was 7 (2–20) for PWH and 4 (2–10) for children in the past year. Most PWH and children were treated with factor concentrate. PWH reported arthritis (49%) and HIV/HCV infections (18%/43%) related to haemophilia. Most PWH and parent respondents had received formal education (85%/89%) and were employed full- or part-time (60%/72%). HERO is one of the largest multinational studies focused on psychosocial issues in haemophilia, including historical and treatment information that will allow for multivariate analyses of determinants of health in haemophilia.