Caregivers’ Perspective on the Psychological Burden of Living with Children Affected by Sickle Cell Disease in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChildren. 2023, 10 (2), 261. 10.3390/children10020261
There is limited information on knowledge, perceptions, and management of sickle cell disease (SCD) in Africa in general and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in particular. This study explored knowledge, perceptions, and burden of 26 parents/caregivers of children with SCD in three selected hospitals in Kinshasa, DRC. We conducted a focus group with in-depth interviews with parents/caregivers of children affected with SCD. Four themes were discussed, including knowledge and perceptions, diagnosis and management, society’s perceptions, and the psychosocial burden and the quality of life of the family affected by SCD. The majority of participants/caregivers felt that society, in general, had negative perceptions of, attitudes toward, and knowledge about SCD. They reported that children with sickle cell are often marginalized, ignored, and excluded from society or school. They face a number of challenges related to care, management, financial difficulties, and a lack of psychological support. The results suggest the need to promote measures and strategies to improve knowledge and management of SCD in Kinshasa, DRC.