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Keywords:

  • handheld computer;
  • haemophilia;
  • randomized trial;
  • home care;
  • factor concentrates;
  • diaries

Summary.  Treatment of severe haemophilia with factor concentrates is by self-infusion in the home. Adherence to record keeping on paper diaries is poor. A randomized-controlled trial compared adherence with record keeping of paper diaries with hand-held computers. Forty-one individuals with severe haemophilia, were randomized to hand-held computers (n = 22) or paper diaries (n = 19) and followed for 6 months. About 86.2% (679 of 788) of infusions by patients in the computer group were in compliance with the data submission schedule compared with only 48.3% (358 of 741) of infusions by patients using paper diaries (P < 0.0001). The time intervals between infusions and the receipt of data were shorter in the computer group (median 0.25 vs. 25 days respectively, P < 0.0001). Reminder phone calls by the clinic were made less frequently to users of hand-held computers than to users of paper diaries (median one vs. five times, P < 0.0001). Accuracy of data was similar for both methods. Compliance with hand-held computers was superior to paper diaries. The clinic received data from hand-held computers mostly on the same day, and nurses could thereby provide clinical advice more effectively. Although hand-held computers did not result in increased accuracy, errors could be detected and corrected more rapidly. Electronic data can more easily be verified, analysed and summarized than that from paper diaries.