Patient journeys: diagnosis and treatment of pernicious anaemia

Br J Nurs. 2014 Apr;23(7):376-81. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2014.23.7.376.


Background: Instigating a patient support group for patients with pernicious anaemia (PA) revealed dissatisfaction with its current diagnosis and treatment. The authors investigated the clinical features, patient experience of diagnosis and treatment of PA in the UK.

Methods: A total of 889 patients registered with the PA Society support group completed an online survey or postal questionnaire. Outcome measures included clinical features, length of time to diagnosis and patient satisfaction with current treatment

Results: One-third of patients experienced symptoms for up to 1 year before diagnosis; 14% waited more than 10 years for a diagnosis. Neurological features were highly prevalent, the most common being memory loss and poor concentration. Nearly two-thirds of respondents were dissatisfied with current treatment; 10% used a non-licensed form of B12 to supplement their prescribed injections.

Conclusion: The diagnosis and treatment of PA should be subject to a thorough review. This article discusses the patient survey and results and makes recommendations for how the diagnosis and treatment of PA may be evaluated.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Pernicious / diagnosis*
  • Anemia, Pernicious / etiology
  • Anemia, Pernicious / therapy*
  • Humans
  • United Kingdom
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism


  • Vitamin B 12