Resources and Support
Culturally sensitive psychological services make up a critical part of all comprehensive care plans for patients with thalassemia. Thalassemia requires time-intensive, lifelong medical treatment. Therefore, ongoing therapeutic services are needed to help patients cope with issues related to chronic illness and mortality. Psychologists providing support should be experienced and consistent. Student interns are not recommended to give psychological counseling for people with chronic illness due to a high rate of turnover and the inability to establish long relationships needed to build trust.
Patients should have an evaluation of general functioning and adaptation to chronic illness and hospital culture. In addition, assess patients’ ability to comply and cope with medical regimen. Assistance and intervention with issues of compliance and coping styles should be considered for every patient. Evaluate and refer patients to a psychiatrist for administration of psychotropic medication. In addition, therapeutic groups for adolescents and adults must be organized and directed.