Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

BioMed Central





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

December 2015



There is a lack of research concerning health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Saudi patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), particularly among adult populations. The aim of the current study was to describe the characteristics of SCD patients and their impact on their quality of life (QoL).


Six hundred twenty-nine adult SCD patients who attended King Fahad Hospital in Hofuf and King Fahad Central Hospital in Jazan were included in the analysis. Demographic/clinical data were collected and an Arabic version of the Medical Outcomes 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire was used to assess QoL.


SCD patients who hold a university degree reported positive impacts on the following domains of SF-36: physical role function, vitality, emotional well being, social function, pain reduction, and general health (P = .002, P = .001, P = .001, P = .003, P = .004, and P = .001, respectively). In general, patients with fever, skin redness, swelling, or history of blood transfusion tended to impair the health status of the SF-36. A multivariate analysis revealed that patients with a university degree tended to report high scores of physical role functions, emotional role function, and vitality. Patients with regular exercise tend to increase vitality, social function, general health, and reduce pain. Unemployment tends to lessen vitality and worsen pain. On average, pain, social function, and physical function scores tended to worsen in patients with swelling or history of blood transfusion.


This study highlighted that poor education, fever, skin redness, and swelling were negatively associated with specific components of SF-36. SCD patients with a history of blood transfusion found their QoL poorer, whereas regular exercise tended to improve QoL.


Copyright © Ahmed et al. 2015 Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Is Part Of

VCU Biostatistics Publications