Barriers and perceived limitations to early treatment of hemophilia
Boston Hemophilia Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Abstract: Early treatment of bleeds in hemophilia patients, both with and without inhibitors, has been shown to be of immense benefit in the overall clinical outcome. Despite the advantages of treating the bleeding episodes early, significant barriers and limitations remain. The aim of this review is to highlight the various barriers and perceived limitations to early therapy of bleeding episodes, especially in patients who have developed inhibitors to factor VIII. The peer-reviewed literature was searched for articles on hemophilia patients, with and without inhibitors, and early treatment, to identify the barriers to early treatment and potential impact on patient outcomes. The most important barrier is the educational barrier, which involves lack of awareness among patients regarding the signs of a bleed, as well as importance of early therapy. It is also common for parents or caregivers of school-age children to exhibit inconvenience and scheduling barriers. Distance to the treatment center can also play a role here. Some patients experience financial barriers related to cost of clotting factor products, insurance coverage, or insurance caps and out-of-pocket costs. Rarely, there can also be problems related to venous access or home infusion. Lastly, multiple psychosocial barriers can prevent adherence to treatment regimens. Identification and addressing these individual barriers will result in improved compliance rates, prevent joint damage, be more cost-effective, and lead to better overall health of these patients.
Keywords: hemophilia A, hemophilia B, inhibitors, outcomes, quality of life, cost of care
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