What should men living with haemophilia need to know? The perspectives of Canadian men with haemophilia



Haemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder affecting approximately 3000 Canadian men (Walker 2012). To manage their disease effectively individuals must be knowledgeable about the disease, bleed prevention strategies, treatment approaches, and complications. Data on individuals’ knowledge levels are scarce. The availability of such data could lead to better educational strategies for disease management. The aim of this study was to determine current knowledge levels, needs and gaps among Canadian individuals with haemophilia to facilitate optimal disease management. A survey was disseminated to adult males with haemophilia at three Haemophilia Treatment Centres (HTCs) in Canada. Self-reported current knowledge levels and knowledge seeking were measured. Survey respondents reported highest levels of knowledge in the following areas: identifying and treating a bleed, haemophilia and physical activity, travel, career issues and genetics. Lower levels of knowledge were reported in the areas of sexual activity, product safety, information about factor, haemophilia and ageing, advocacy, timing of prophylactic infusions, and new or alternative therapies. Treating a bleed was the most commonly sought information, followed by information about factor, product safety, identifying a bleed and other health care issues. There was a positive correlation between knowledge seeking and severity of disease. HTC attendance was associated with knowledge seeking, and HTCs were the most frequented knowledge source, followed by the Canadian Haemophilia Society website. Canadian men were well informed; the HTC's role in knowledge sharing was recognized. Timing of infusions, sexual activity and ageing are areas which should be targeted in knowledge sharing.